Friendship conflict and confusion has been going on for many years, as evidenced by the proverbs in the Bible. The advice there is still relevant to what friends today experience: betrayal, trust issues, and developing closeness.
Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.
~ Proverbs 18:24
It's true. Friends can come and go from your lives, but some of them are more loyal and caring than people in your own family.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
~ Proverbs 13:20
This post speaks directly to the thought that good friends will bring you up, while negative friends will do the opposite. If you've ever spent a day with a friend and then felt totally exhausted and misunderstood at the end, you know what this quote means.
Conversely, a friend who challenges you in a good way and encourages you leaves you feeling strong and happy. Surround yourself with good friends so you can recognize a negative friendship when it comes your way.
A friend means well, even when he hurts you. But when an enemy puts his hand round your shoulder - watch out!
~ Proverbs 27:6
Our friends are human and therefore, they mess up. They will act rudely, hurt our feelings, and behave like buffoons sometimes. That doesn't mean they don't love us or want the best for us.
But in the quest for good friends, it's hard to distinguish between the bad behavior of a good friend and the negative influence of a toxic friendship at times. Often, you need to spend time together and really get to know someone before you can judge. This might mean that you have a toxic friend in your life for a while until you know for sure.
Look at it this way, it's better to have a lousy friend once in a while than lose a good one. Take your time in deciding which is which and learn to forgive. It will make bouncing back from conflict that much easier.
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
~ Proverbs 16:28
One reason gossip is so harmful in a friendship is because it ruins trust. Will you ever feel comfortable telling a friend something again if you find out they blabbed to someone else? Probably not.
An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.
~ Proverbs 24:26
You don't want people around you who are fake, but you also don't want a friend who tries to hurt your feelings either. Honesty needs to be gentle in order to be most effective.
Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share troubles?
~ Proverbs 17:17
This is the essence of friendship.