Notes on Friendship from Derek Kidner

One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.
-Proverbs 18:24

These are my notes from pages 45 and 46 of Derek Kidner’s commentary on Proverbs (1964):

The good friend

1. Constancy is the first feature.

  • ‘Fair weather friends” contrasted.
  • If you want true friends, be a true friend.  Don’t expect to receive something you are not giving.
  • Be loyal.  Don’t drop old friends just to replace them with new ones.

2. Candour

  • True friends rebuke each other.
  • Flattery contrasted.
  • Avoidance of candour may prove deadly.
  • Be prepared not to be thanked until later, if at all.

3. Counsel

  • Cheer your friend on.
  • Disagree or clash with you friend.
  • Two sides to the same coin.

4. Tact

  • Respect their feelings.
  • Don’t take advantage of, take for granted, act entitled towards, or impose upon.
  • Duty of forethought: do not joke too far at their expense.

The vulnerability of friendship

  • To be a true friend is to risk betrayal or estrangement.
  • Close friendships need guarding.
  • A tactless friend is less damaging than separation caused by malicious gossip.
  • “The integrity of a friendship depends as much on spiritual resources as the individual.”

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