Introduction: Do you have friends? If so, do you want or need more
friends? Is it possible you need replacements for your current
friends? How do you stack up as a friend? Do you need remedial work
in the friendship department? Let’s dive in and find out what King
Solomon teaches us about choosing our friends and being a friend.
- The Importance of Friends.
- How important are friends to your life?
- What purpose do friends have? Why do you want any?
- How do you feel when your friends are not very
- Let’s look at Genesis 2:18. What reason did God give for
providing a spouse for Adam?
- If you have a spouse, do you need friends?
- Do you hold your friends closer than your spouse by
criticizing your spouse to your friends?
- Read Proverbs 27:9-11. As you look at these verses, in
what circumstances does Solomon suggest a friend should be
useful? (Good counsel, help in time of disaster, support
when others treat you with contempt.)
- How do you stack up as a friend? Do you give this
kind of support to your friends?
- How do your friends stack up? Do your friends give
you this kind of support?
- Why is (v.10) a “friend of your father” worthy of
- Why does Solomon advise us (v.10) not to go to family
for help when disaster strikes? Compare Paul’s advice
in 1 Timothy 5:4. Paul tells us that we have an
obligation to help our parents and grandparents.
- Does this mean we are obliged to help those who
raised us but not our siblings? (If you look at
Proverbs 27:10 it refers to the practical matter
of distance. In this case the brother is far
away and the friend is near.)
- Read Proverbs 18:24. Once again we have a comparison
between friends and family. What is the difference between
a companion and a friend according to this text?
- Why might many companions ruin you? (I don’t think it
is the number that is the problem, the problem is
that they are mere companions and not real friends.
They won’t feel obligated to help in time of
- If you have the King James version of this text you
will find what is undoubtedly the truth (if you want
to have friends you need to be friendly), but is
unlikely the proper translation of the Hebrew.
- Do you have a friend that is closer than your brother
or sister? How did you come by that friend?
- Notice the text says “a friend” that sticks
closer than a brother. How many friends do you
have that are closer than your siblings? (A
friend that close would seem rare.)
- The Criteria For Friends
- Read Proverbs 13:19-21. On what basis should we choose
our friends? Why? (Chose wise friends instead of fools
because your friends affect your life!)
- Why are fools bad friends? (Verse 19: they want to
continue in evil.)
- Why are wise individuals good for friends? (These
three verses together suggest that the wise will have
their desires fulfilled and will be prosperous.)
- How does the fact that your wise friends have their
desires fulfilled help you? (We are influenced by our
friends. If they are wise, we are more likely to be
- Read Proverbs 24:1-6. Are these six verses related or
unrelated in your opinion?
- Is life like building a house or waging a war?
- If you say, “yes,” tell me why?(All of a
productive life is like a project. You are
building, accomplishing, moving forward towards
- What do you need to accomplish your life goals
according to these verses? (Verse 6 says we need
many advisers to wage a victorious “war.” Verse
5 suggests these advisers be men of wisdom and
knowledge (the righteous). Verses 1 and 2 tell
us we should not get our advice from wicked
- Why would anyone be tempted to get advice
from a wicked person? (Verse 1 tells us
envy could motivate us.)
- Read Proverbs 27:6&17. Will we always like the advice of
our friends? Will we always instantly agree a wise
friend’s advice is a good idea? What word pictures do
these verses paint? (These verses suggest that we will
sometimes get good advice we don’t particularly like from
our friends. The word picture is “wounds” and getting hit
- This brings us back to the first text from Proverbs we
looked at in this lesson: Proverbs 27:9. It tells us that
the pleasantness of our friends springs from their earnest
- How can this be considered pleasant when we just
learned it was like getting wounded or hit with
- Can you see now how having the right friends, getting
the right advice and influence, is critical to the
success of our lives?
- Friendship Evangelism
- We have discussed the importance of having the right
friends. How should we relate to those people who are not
righteous? Should we keep ourselves separate from them?
How should we relate to them?
- Read Proverbs 25:20-22. What do these texts teach us about
relating to the unrighteous?
- Why no singing? What, exactly, do you think this “no
singing” reference means? (Taken together, I think
these texts teach us to give practical help to the
unrighteous who are in need and to be very careful
about how we present the gospel to them. The
practical help, more than the talk, will help to
bring them around.)
- Friendship to the Needy
- Read Proverbs 21:13. Does this text suggest how we should
help the poor, or simply tell us to help them?
- Are we helping the poor by simply giving them
handouts? Read Proverbs 10:4. What does this suggest
is the way out of poverty?
- Is poverty always the result of laziness? (Read
- How can we discern between those who are
poor because of injustice and those who
are just lazy?
- Read Proverbs 19:17; 22:9; 28:27. How important is
kindness to the poor?
- What does the Old Testament concept of gleaning teach us
about how to treat the poor? See Ruth 2:7.
- Was gleaning a hand out? Was it hard work?
- What does Paul teach us in the New Testament about aid to
the poor? While it is worthwhile to read all of 1 Timothy
5:3-16, look particularly at verses 3, 7, 9-11, 13.
- After considering this text, do you think Paul would
approve of handing out money or food to people
indiscriminately? Or giving out food just because
they were poor?
- Can we harm someone by just giving them money or
food? When Paul says (v.7) to give instructions on
these matters so that no one can be open to blame, is
he suggesting that we can be “blamed” if we mis-handle our charity? Can the way we help someone else
ever be a sin?
- How can we implement the “gleaning” idea for the poor
- Friend, God tells us our friends are important. He calls
on us to choose our friends carefully. Part of being a
friend is to help others. God places a responsibility on
us to answer the cry of the poor, but He instructs us to
be wise in the way we answer that cry. Will you take the
time to be sure you are promoting good friendships and
properly helping those in need?
- Next Week: Drink From Your Own Spring