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5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
Summary: While many of us have enjoyed deep friendships, others have suffered the loss of a failed relationship. Do you see your need for friends to whom you can turn for affection, love, and encouragement? Proverbs offers God’s wisdom to God’s people living in a fallen world to live skillfully as image bearers in our relationships. Specifically, God’s wisdom offers help in being a good friend to others. Do you want better friendships? Do you want to be a better friend? This week we will see the wisdom of God in our need for friendships, the nature of friendship, and how to cultivate godly friendships that offer life and joy.
Review and Apply
Who is the best friend you can remember? What made them so close? Are they still, why or why not?
What do you value most in your friendships? What do you most consistently seek to offer to your friends?
How has your selection in friends changed over the years?
How do you receive a loving rebuke from a friend? Why is this important?
How does Jesus' perfect friendship help us be better friends?
What are some things you need to do and/or stop doing to cultivate better friendships?