Friendship in the Bible
The Bible offers wonderful friendship verses that celebrate the blessing of great friends in our lives.
In this collection of friendship verses and proverbs we also find advice about how to forgive others, as well as words of great wisdom on what to do if we find ourselves in difficult situations with friendships.
We invite you to select your favourite Bible verse about friendship and forward to your loved ones, or simply enjoy reflecting on these uplifting prayers for friendship.
All of these Bible verses about friendship have been taken from the NIV version of the Bible
Bible verses on friendship
These scriptures on friendship encourage us that God created friends to help us. Our friends can be a great source of love, joy and encouragement. Take heart from the truth that we’re not meant to carry our burdens alone.
- Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
- James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
- Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: 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.
Proverbs about friends
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friendship. Solomon’s proverbs teach us how to seek out good friends that will help us during tough times. These proverbs about friends remind us that good friends aren’t just close friends – it helps if they’re wise friends.
- Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
- Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
- Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
- Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
- Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
- Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
- Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
- Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
You may also be interested in these uplifting friendship quotes to share.
Bible stories about friendship
These Bible passages about friendship give us practical examples of how we can be loyal to others, even when friendships go through challenges. They teach us about the values of a good friend: faithfulness, respect and sacrifice.
Jonathan and David
1 Samuel 18:1-3 “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”
David and Jonathan had a sacrificial friendship. They were friends even though their situation made them rivals for the crown – Jonathan being the eldest son of King Saul and David, the son of Jesse of Bethlehem. Jonathan was incredibly loyal towards David, warning him of King Saul’s intent to kill him.
Ruth and Naomi
Following a severe famine, Elimelech and his wife Naomi took their two sons to live in the country of Moab. Tragically Elimelech died, followed years later by Naomi’s two sons who by that point had married two women called Naomi and Orpha.
Instead of returning to her home, Ruth insisted on accompanying Naomi to Israel.
Ruth 1:16-17 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Ruth stuck by her mother-in-law during an extremely challenging time. Despite being from different cultures, places and generations, Naomi and Ruth established a deep bond. Their commitment to each other is a great example of Christ-like sacrifice. Ruth ended up marrying one of Naomi’s relatives, Boaz.
Barnabas and Paul
One of the most powerful friendships in the New Testament is between Paul and Barnabas. Together they launched the first missionary journey and they were a great church-planting team. For just over two years, they planted over a dozen congregations.
On their secondary missionary journey, Paul suggested they take John Mark and the two men had “a sharp disagreement” (Acts 15:36) and ended up going on separate journeys. However, despite their disagreement these two friends continued to have respect for each other.
Start a friendship today
Start a new friendship today by sponsoring a child with Compassion. Share the gift of friendship with a child born into extreme poverty and help them access health care, education and the support of a caring church community.
Your sponsorship will be a unique relationship where you’ll exchange letters with your sponsored child and see the difference you’re making over time. Begin a friendship that is sure to change your life and theirs for the better.
Bible verses about community
It’s amazing that God doesn’t call us to live this life alone. We’re called to support one another and carry each others’ burdens. Let these friendship verses encourage you to seek out community today.
- 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
- 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
- Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
- Romans 12:5 So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
- Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
- Hebrews 10: 24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- 1 Peter 4:8-11 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
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