Discussion Summary

The topic of friendship was introduced by Rev. Van Overloop in the 3rd discussion group of the 1986 Convention. He used David and Jonathan as examples of an ideal relationship. In I Sam. 20:16ff we read of the covenant of friendship that was established between them, and later in the same chapter, verses 41 & 42 we read of the final meeting of these two friends.

God created man after his own image, therefore man is a social being who is able to have communion with others. Through the covenant a relationship of friendship is established between God and us. Rev. Van Overloop stressed the importance of this relation being based on friendship. If we have a relationship of friendship with God, we will also have this same relationship with each other. Because of this we should be the most friendly people around. It is our duty to reflect this relationship of God, therefore we must communicate with those who we can see are lonely and be friends with them just as God was pleased to accept us as his friend servants.

We also discussed the value of close friendships of the same sex. We must be friends with all believers, but some people are closer to us than others because we have more in common with them. Everyone needs a friend with whom they can discuss their problems and also their joys. To establish this type of friendship you need to know a lot about each other, which takes time. Also, it is imperative that we all be friendly if we desire to gain this type of friend, or any friends at all as Proverbs 18:24 teaches.

The possibility of establishing close friendships with ungodly people was also brought up. Based on Amos 3:3, “can two walk together, except they be agreed?” we decided that we cannot be close friends but still must be friendly to the ungodly.

Everyone can experience loneliness, even those with many friends, but we must see how much better we have it than the wicked, because we always have God as our friend; and he is a better friend than any person could ever be.