Encouraging and Supporting Your Friends
Today’s Bible study looks at only four brief verses from Proverbs. But like all of the adages found throughout this wisdom-filled book, these tersely crafted verses are jam-packed with powerful, practical, and timeless insights.
And in keeping with this week’s theme, the insights go straight to the heart and soul of what it means to be someone who seeks to bring out the best in his friends. So, dig into these four short verses and then put them to work in your friendships.
Interact with God’s Word: Proverbs 27:5-6, 9, 17
- When have you been grateful for a friend’s “open rebuke” (v. 5)? Why was this rebuke helpful to you?
- How does a wound from a “sincere friend” (v. 6) differ from a wound from an insincere friend?
- Why are wounds from a “sincere friend” better than “kisses from an enemy”?
- When was a time “heartfelt counsel” (v. 9) kept you from making a mistake or gave you the courage to do what was right?
- Who is a friend you could “sharpen” (v. 17) through an encouraging word, a piece of timely advice, or a loving rebuke?
- Take time to memorize one or two of the verses from this week’s study.
Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for friends who offer you encouragement and who seek to bring out the best in you; ask God to guide you and give you wisdom as you seek to encourage and challenge your own friends to greater godliness.
5 An open rebuke
is better than hidden love!
6 Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.