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Biblical Friendships

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

  • Biblical friendships -

What is it? And how do we live with THAT kind of friendship?

Listen, I get it. Friendships can be hard. Relationships can be hard.

Initiating friendships is one thing. Maintaining friendships is another.

We are two sinners, with differing ideas, beliefs, behaviors, etc. But, we are called to BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER through it. Bear with one another - aka - Put up with each other! Haha. Funny, but true. Bearing with one another, meaning sticking with them, through the good and bad, hard and easy, and the joys and disappointments.

When friendships get hard, we have to stop and remember that we are all imperfect. We have these crazy expectations of others, yet when expectations are held up against US, we get all bent out of shape, don’t we? We must modify our expectations, knowing that we WILL disappoint and hurt each other at some point (this goes both ways!). But, we have to push through. Good things and good friends are worth fighting for.

So, when you’re entering relationships, don’t just avoid disappointments and imperfections or run from them. Instead, expect them!! That will help those times not be a total surprise and let down when that disappointment arises (from you OR them!). We have to get used to people letting us down and not bailing out, running away, or canceling them. We gotta work through it, and learn to FULLY forgive….with NO conditions. If we don’t live that way, our friendships will be short, surface, kinda fake….and will only last until the next offense.

One thing I have learned about forgiveness the past couple years is that I don’t need to explain myself, defend myself, be “heard”, voice my complaint, make my point, or even say a word to FORGIVE or ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. Real forgiveness requires nothing in return. The person you are “bearing with” may not even change a thing, but we are still called to FORGIVE (forgiving helps our heart, even if theirs doesn't change. crazy, right?)

For me, that looks like being able to forgive silently, and also being able to ask for forgiveness, willing to fully accept any hurts I’ve caused (no explanation). Just FORGIVENESS. It is more than just "overlooking" wrong or blame. It is choosing KINDNESS instead of blame. We don’t need to hold it up to them, making sure they know we are upset (this goes without saying, but of course there are times we can communicate our feelings, but those times are different!)

Being gracious when someone has done something to me that provokes anger and disappointment - that feels very unnatural. But it’s what the Bible tells us to do. To be different from our culture. To think of the other better than ourselves, to look for the good, and to replace blame with kindness, love and favor.

I mean, that’s what Jesus did for us, and continues to do for us!

Who are we to think we deserve that kind of pardon, but then cannot give it to others?

God and his grace gives us favor when we deserve much less.

Jesus doesn’t just overlook or relinquish the penalty, he actually gives FAVOR.

When I look at my own sin and my own life, I see that God has 100% forgiven it all.

How could I respond and not do the same for others? How can I expect grace and mercy when I don’t in turn give it? How can I think I am somehow better than someone else, expecting something more from them, expecting perfection, judging when they fail me, canceling them when they hurt me.

The longer you wait to forgive someone and replace blame with kindness, the harder it gets.

One blog post said it like this:

“There are peoples' sins and faults that we should take with us to the grave, as Paul says about the man in Corinth: "These things shouldn't even be talked about. Shut up. Keep it to yourself. Cover that person's sin in love." Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8). Do we love our brother enough to give him a chance to repent? God does. Why can't we?”

There is a Greek word, charizomai. It stems from the word charis, meaning “grace, undeserved merit or favor.” This word is used 23 times in the New Testament, and it is not just your normal “Ok, cool, I guess I forgive you.” The more common word for forgive is aphiemi which literally means to leave off or send away. The verb charizomai for forgive carries a deeper sense of wholehearted forgiveness. It is a full restoration, fully sacrificial, lowliness and pardon.

-- Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Comment: Means "forgive freely"—graciously, not grudgingly. To forgive in the sense of treating the offending party graciously.” The same word is used of God here forgiving us in Christ. That is the way God has forgiven us, so that is, the way we [enabled by His Spirit] should forgive others. The idea of freeness lies in the word forgive, which is forth-give.).” --

Colossians 3:12-13 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

Ephesians 4:2 “...with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”

Forgive. Not once, not twice, not 7 times. But "seventy times seven." Lisa

This word, charizomai, is used 23 times:

Luke 7:21: "and unto many that were blind he gave sight."

Luke 7:42: "had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which"

Luke 7:43: "I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said"

Acts 3:14: "desired a murderer to be granted unto you;"

Acts 25:11: "me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar."

Acts 25:16: "not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die,"

Acts 27:24: "and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with"

Romans 8:32: "how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

1 Corinthians 2:12: "that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

2 Corinthians 2:7: "contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one"

2 Corinthians 2:10: "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing,"

2 Corinthians 2:10: "I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom"

2 Corinthians 2:10: "if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes"

2 Corinthians 12:13: "myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong."

Galatians 3:18: "promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

Ephesians 4:32: "ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as"

Ephesians 4:32: "even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Philippians 1:29: "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe"

Philippians 2:9: "hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above"

Colossians 2:13: "hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

Colossians 3:13: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have"

Colossians 3:13: "even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Philemon 1:22: "through your prayers I shall be given unto you."

---- charizomai ----

1) to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favour to, gratify

1a) to show one' s self gracious, kind, benevolent

1b) to grant forgiveness, to pardon

1c) to give graciously, give freely, bestow

1c1) to forgive

1c2) graciously to restore one to another


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