Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 23, 1967

Having Friends

Floyd D. Chapplear

We all have met certain individuals toward whom we could express only the kindest sentiments. These people, by their very nature, seem to attract a loving feeling for themselves almost as if they possessed within their inner beings a "love magnet." One is made to wonder why some persons draw such kind overtures to themselves while others do not. Let us together examine the reasons for this situation existing as it does.

Certainly it can be said that if a person is not friendly he will have no friends. The Lord said, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." (Prov. 18:24 KJV: If you use the American Standard Version the verse will not read the same. FDC) To receive friendship, in other words, friendship must be extended. Brother Alvin O. Raney put it this way, "I was touched by your offer of friendship in Christ, and I gratefully accept. It led me to think along these lines: we are brethren because we are born of the same Father. This is automatically so. Friendship, however, is a thing that must be earned -- and offered -- by individuals because they want to. Thus it is a most precious gift, which blesses and enriches both the giver and the receiver." (Quoted from a personal letter of 7 May, 1963)

Think carefully about that which brother Raney had to say. Now, look around yourself and pick out those individuals who are the most friendly. Do they not seem to be the most contented, kindest, and spiritually awake persons you know? It is as if, as brother Raney said, they are indeed being blessed and enriched of their own friendliness.

Other characteristics of a friendly person should be here noted. As was mentioned in the above paragraph, a friendly person is a kind person. We all know that a Christian is to add to his faith, brotherly kindness (2 Pet. 1:7). This kindness will be manifested in friendly overtures. Friendly people, those possessing this brotherly kindness, will be the ones offering the "words fitly spoken" (Prov. 25:11) which do so much to calm a troubled heart. They will be the ones who offer comforting words to those who have lost loved ones (1 Thess. 4:18).

Furthermore, your true friends, and truly friendly people, will not be the ones to falsely praise you. A truly friendly person, one who cares about your soul salvation, will "reprove and rebuke" us if such is needed. However, this same individual will pay heed to the admonition of the Lord and give life with his tongue as well as death (Prov. 18:21). In other words, he will rebuke us and reprove us with "all longsuffering." His rebukes, though firm, will be given kindly. We need to buoy up the faltering spirit, as well as to shackle the boastful soul.

Each one of us should ask ourselves the question, "What kind of a friend am I?" Do I show myself friendly? If not, think of the blessings of friendship we are losing.