Proverbs is a great book of the Bible to turn to when we are in need of wisdom. Overall, biblical scholars accredit the Book of Proverbs to Solomon, the son of King David. God gave Solomon great wisdom to be used to help Israel in many ways.
Contained within the Book of Proverbs are many great sayings that can help us in our interactions with others. Here are a few Proverbs for friends when they disagree.
1. Proverbs 27:6
Proverbs 27:6 says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." This is a helpful Proverb to remember when we are having a disagreement with a friend. As this Proverb tells us, wounds from a friend can be trusted, yet kisses from an enemy should not be trusted.
If our friendships are healthy and not toxic, we should be able to trust our friends. True friends are not going to sugarcoat a sin in your life in order to make you "feel better" about the situation. Rather, they are going to address the sin and tell you how it could hurt you. This is what true friends do.
I had a recent encounter with a friend of mine who I have known for a long time. I have the habit of using the word "bloody," and she approached me as a true friend and told me that this word upset her because it was too similar to a curse word.
I had mindlessly been using this word to the point that I had forgotten it was similar to a curse word, not in America but in other countries across the world.
Therefore, I'm grateful my friend pointed this out to me even though it did hurt my feelings a bit, yet I know I could trust her just as the Proverb tells us, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted" (Proverbs 27:6).
2. Proverbs 15:1
Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” This is another Proverb to turn to when friends disagree.
It is common for us to get upset or angry after a disagreement, but as Christian friends, we need to answer kindly to others rather than saying harsh words to our friends.
We should speak the truth, but we should not do it in a mean way or in a way that will hurt them. When we have a disagreement with a friend, we need to be kind to each other and settle our disputes with each other in a way that glorifies God.
I personally struggle with anger at times, but God has helped me to control my anger. Through Bible reading and talking with Him in prayer, He has pointed out to me that anger is not the right way to go. Nothing good can come of anger because it will only hurt someone else in the process.
As Christians, we need to follow the advice given to us in Proverbs 15:1 and always answer gently. A gentle answer can really help others, and it can help quickly extinguish a fire between two friends.
3. Proverbs 10:12
Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” This is a third Proverb that can help friends when they are having a disagreement.
Instead of showing hatred, as friends, we need to forgive and cover the offense with love. God wants us to extend mercy and love to all people, especially our friends.
True friends will be able to work out problems and disagreements without hurting one another’s feelings. We should point out problems, but we should not say it with an attitude of hatred.
As Proverbs 10:12 tells us, hatred will stir up conflict, which will make the disagreement worse; however, when extending love, it can cover all wrongs.
If you are having a disagreement with a friend, refrain from growing angry or letting hatred rise in your heart. Instead, extend love in a disagreement and sometimes we simply have to “agree to disagree.”
As Christians, we need to work through disagreements with our friends and do it in a way that honors the Lord. God knows we will have disagreements with other people, including our friends, yet He wants us to strive to work out our disagreements in love.
By following Proverbs 10:12 advice, we will be able to mend disagreements, and we will avoid hurting our friends.
4. Proverbs 12:26
Proverbs 12:26 reads, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” This Proverb is perfect not only for dealing with disagreements but also for choosing our friends.
If we are careful when we choose our friends, we will be able to avoid troubles and problems. This is not to say that if we are careful when we choose our friends that we will avoid disagreements, but it can help if we are careful when we choose our friends.
Our friends are huge influences in our lives, and they can shape us as individuals. This is why it is critical for us to be cautious when we choose our friends.
If we are not careful when we choose our friends, we can easily become involved with wicked people who will lead us astray, as Proverbs 12:26 reads.
A great example of this is how young Dorian Gray befriends Lord Henry Wotton, who corrupts him and leads him down a very evil path.
As we can see, Dorian Gray was not careful when choosing his friends, but rather allowed the wicked to lead him astray.
In our own lives, we too need to be careful when we choose our friends because it can help us avoid trouble, conflict, and disagreements in the future.
5. Proverbs 27:17
Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This Proverb is a fifth Proverb for friends when they disagree because it reminds us that as friends, we can “sharpen” one another.
Despite our disagreements, we can still work through them, and in the end, we can sharpen one another. My nonprofit professor in undergrad taught us that problems and disagreements could be turned into a good thing because they tell us that something is not working.
In other words, when we have a disagreement with a friend, it means we need to talk through the problem and work it out. Disagreements are bound to come, but our actions can radically affect how the disagreement turns out.
In each of our conversations, we should try to sharpen one another and help build them up. Even in our disagreements, we need to still strive to sharpen one another and help one another.
Some disagreements are weightier than others, but even if the disagreement is controversial, we need to respond in a manner of love, kindness, and forgiveness.
We can extend this to others because God extends it to us each day. Since God has forgiven us and extended mercy to us, we, too, should extend the same love, kindness, and forgiveness to our friends.
Through our disagreements, we can actually grow to be stronger friends because we have been able to work through our disagreements in a way that glorifies God and doesn't hurt the other person’s feelings or tear them down.
In our disagreements, we can sharpen one another as long as we are working through the disagreement with love, kindness, and mercy, which glorifies God and brings peace to a friendship.
For further reading:
What Does the Bible Say about Choosing Friends?
A Godly Friendship Revealed Through Jonathan in the Bible
What Does the Bible Say about Friendships?
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.