20 Bible Verses about Friendship

In this post, I’m sharing my favorite Bible verses about friendship. When putting together the free women’s retreat theme, Where Friends Gather, the many scriptures about friendship intrigued me. 

I shared a few of them in the theme post and put together even more for the Where Friends Gather upgrade bundle (will be ready soon), but reading about friendship in the Bible was so uplifting, I wanted to share even more here.  You can get a PDF copy to download and print HERE or by using the link at the end of the post.

Some people have many friends and some, like me, have a few close friends and many acquaintances. Whichever way you are, I’m sure you value to love and joy from your friendships (and your acquaintances).  Be sure to print this list of verses or grab the bundle (coming soon) to get the same verses on scripture prayer cards.

From early childhood through high school, I had two ‘main’ best friends. Both were daughters of my parents’ friends, so we began playing together from the time we toddled around.

Unfortunately, these two of my best friends hated each other. Now, I know hate is a strong word, but in this case, I’m sorry to say, it’s true.

Both had strong, dominant personalities. They were leaders who hadn’t learned yet how to share leadership roles. I was shy and lacked self-confidence which is why I felt drawn to them. Because they couldn’t get along, we never did all hang out together.

To this day, I’ve stayed in touch with them and kept up with the highlights of their adult lives. When we have reunions, they get along now that they have matured. In the every day, they lead different lives.

One is an artist and the other an accountant. As I write that, I find it telling…how different their personalities must be to choose and thrive in such different careers!

As children, I loved spending time with both of them. They taught me adventure and carried me along with them for school activities, dances, and so on. There were other friends throughout childhood, but these two were my ‘best’.

At 16, I met the friend who I would consider my closest ever. It was this friend who taught me to find my worth in Christ and showed me that I was worthy of all that is good.

In the early days of my blog, I wrote about him frequently. This blog was one way I expressed my journey through grief after he died. It’s been just over 15 years now. Hard to believe! I still think about him almost every day; I suppose we do that with those who have touched us so deeply.

Now, when I think of him, though, I’m no longer sad. Instead, I’m thankful for the friendship we shared and the lessons he taught me about Jesus.

And I’m thankful to the Lord for helping me through those difficult times and showing me through the Holy Spirit that my love for God and determination to share that love with others has given me my purpose and passion through Loving Christ Ministries.

Yes, friends impact us dearly. I love to read these scriptures about friendship, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Two women sitting together, one with her arm around the other and title text overlay - 20 Bible Verses about Friendship.

Bible Verses about Friendship

1. Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. 

2. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 

3. Job 29:4-6 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house. 

4. Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 

5. Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

6. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 

7.  Proverbs 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 

8. John 15:13 Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 

9. Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

10.  Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

11. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

12. Job 16:20-21 My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.

13. 2 Kings 2:2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

14. Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

15. Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

16. Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

17. Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

18. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

19. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

20. 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Click here to open a PDF of these friendship bible verses.

Don’t forget to check out the corresponding women’s retreat theme, Where Friends Gather, to find more resources about friendship.

Bible Verses About Friendship: Exploring Spiritual Bonds

Biblical Insights on True Friendship

The concept of friendship is richly woven throughout the Bible, particularly highlighted in the Book of Proverbs and exemplified in the New Testament by Jesus Christ Himself. As you explore these texts, you’ll discover a wealth of wisdom on what it means to be and to have a true friend.

Proverbs 17:17 underscores the steadfast nature of friendship: “A friend loves at all times.” This passage emphasizes that a sincere friend is present through good times and hard times, embodying the sweetness of a friend that comes from their earnest counsel. On the other hand, gossip separates close bonds, as Proverbs 16:28 warns, and being a companion of fools harms one’s integrity.

In the story of the soul of Jonathan becoming one with the soul of David, you find an example of loyal friends who enter into a covenant of friendship, showcasing a strong bond deeper than that of blood relations—a true friendship that survives adversities and trials (1 Samuel 18:1-3).

In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us about real friends demonstrating the ultimate love: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Such sacrifice is the pinnacle of sincere friendship and was vividly displayed when Christ Jesus laid down His life for humanity.

Lastly, Ecclesiastes 4:12 speaks of a threefold cord, not quickly broken, highlighting the strength of strong friendships grounded in a pure heart and mutual support.

You’re encouraged to be a friend of God rather than a friend of the world, which James 4:4 describes as being an enemy of God. Reflect on these verses to nurture your dear friends and to be a real friend, one who offers love, counsel, loyalty, and even self-sacrifice.

Characteristics of Righteous Companions

When you think of righteous companions, the idea isn’t just about having good friends; it’s about nurturing relationships that reflect the values and wisdom found in biblical scripture.

These companions are the ones who steer you back to the right path when you stray and act as good stewards of God, helping to foster your spiritual gift.

  • Love and Sacrifice: A true friend loves at all times. They are ready to support you during the day of your calamity, exemplifying the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens.
  • HonestyOpen rebuke from a righteous companion is more valuable than empty flattery. The wounds of a friend are faithful, while the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
  • Influence: You should be mindful of the company you keep, as “bad company corrupts good character.” Seek out friends who encourage good morals and provide counsel that rewards you with good.

Here’s a quick look at some key characteristics:

CharacteristicBiblical Reference
Truthful LoveFaithful are the wounds of a friend
EncouragementEncourage one another and build each other up
Wise CounselWhoever walks with the wise becomes wise

Remember, a righteous companion is not just a fair-weather friend. They stick by you more closely than a brother, and in real trouble, they become a steadfast source of support.

In your journey toward becoming children of God, these friends are the treasure that helps to cover a multitude of sins, not by hiding them, but by guiding you to redemption and growth.

Consequences of Poor Company

When you surround yourself with individuals who exhibit negative traits, such as being wrathful or hot-tempered, you might find those qualities affecting your own disposition.

Associating with an angry or furious man can lead you to adopt the same emotions and responses, which can be detrimental to your mental well-being and social relationships.

Similarly, if your circle includes an adulterous or perverse person, your moral compass can begin to skew. You may find yourself tempted to make bad choices or justify actions that go against your core values.

The Bible cautions against engaging with bad friends or a companion of fools, as this can lead to personal trouble and stray you from the path of righteous living.

Here’s a straightforward breakdown of potential negative impacts:

  • Selfish Ambition: Choosing friends with self-serving motives can steer you into neglecting the needs of others in pursuit of personal gain.
  • Dishonesty: A relationship with a dishonest man might encourage deceit in your own life, undermining trust and integrity.
  • Whisperer Separates: Gossip and backbiting can fracture strong bonds and lead to unnecessary conflict.
  • Troublemaker Plants Seeds of Strife: Harboring close ties with those who enjoy creating discord will likely bring turmoil to your life.

Maintaining friendships with those driven by the love of money or evil company can further entice you into poor financial decisions or actions that prioritize wealth over well-being. It’s crucial to seek out right friends—people who inspire you to make wise decisions and live a life filled with positive values and actions.

Fostering Spiritual Bonds

The Bible often emphasizes the importance of friendships anchored in spiritual connections. When you are looking to cultivate friendships that not only stand the test of time but also enrich your faith, consider these powerful Bible verses about friendship.

  • Proverbs 17:17: In times of adversity, a friend loves at all times; it’s a relationship strengthened by shared belief rather than circumstance.
  • Ephesians 4:3: Make every effort to maintain the “unity of the Spirit” through the bond of peace, valuing the collective over individual preferences.

Love covers a multitude of sins, which means your friendships should be marked with forgiveness and understanding, reflecting God’s love1 Peter 4:8 urges you to love deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.

To embody God’s grace, adopt a posture of humility—value others above yourselves, as suggested in Philippians 2:3. In doing so, your friendships will mirror the selflessness that is a hallmark of Christian love.

Remember, Jonathan’s bond with David teaches you to stand by your friends, even in difficult situations, illustrating that true friendship extends beyond easy times.

You’re called to be hospitable; offering hospitality is a way of serving God’s people and can create lasting friendships. Hebrews 13:2 reminds you not to forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Reflect on these insights to nurture friendships that rejoice in God’s love, celebrate rebirth, and respect the fear of the Almighty, making every friendship a testament to His teachings.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to common inquiries about friendship as portrayed in the Bible, including the traits of a true friend, verses for comfort and guidance, and the way Scripture celebrates these relationships.

What does the Bible say about the qualities of a true friend?

The Bible highlights various characteristics of a true friend, emphasizing loyalty, love, and honesty. Proverbs 17:17, for example, notes that a friend loves at all times, and Proverbs 27:17 compares a friend to iron sharpening iron, suggesting that true friends help each other grow.

Which Bible verses offer comfort and encouragement to friends?

Scripture is a source of solace and motivation among friends. One of the encouraging friends quotes comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which urges friends to build each other up just as they are already doing.

How does Scripture describe the blessings of friendship?

Biblical passages often describe friendship as a vital source of support and joy. For example, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 explains the strength found in companionship, stating that two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil.

Which verses in the Bible provide guidance on forgiveness in friendships?

Forgiveness is a recurring theme in the Bible, including in the context of friendship. Verses like Colossians 3:13 encourage you to bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

What do biblical passages suggest about friendship and love?

Biblical passages suggest that love is a foundational component of friendship. Scripture like John 15:13 reminds you of the depth of love in true friendship, declaring that greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Where can I find Bible verses that celebrate the power of friendship?

Various scriptures celebrate the power and importance of friendship. You can reflect on passages like Proverbs 18:24, which speaks about a friend who sticks closer than a brother, indicating the deep bond that true friendships can hold.

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