Building by Faith 1. Virtue 2. Knowledge 3. Temperance 4. Patience 5. Godliness 6. Brotherly Kindness 7. Love

10 Little Nuggets of Friendship

  1. An understanding Glance
  2. An arm when the ground is slippery
  3. Encouraging & Enthusiastic “How do you do”
  4. Solice when you’re confused
  5. Companionship along THE WAY TO THE destination
  6. Someone to cover their back when theY’re in peril (they’ll take a hit for you)
  7. Sincere petitionS AND INTERCEDING for their good
  8. Honest posture in everything (Standing before the other without malice or deceit)
  9. Loyal friendship
    (Get out of Jail free card)
  10.  Always the benefit of the doubt

Brotherly Kindness -
                                cousin to Love

Wheel of Perfection

Dialogue on Perfection

Belief in the Rapture

Perfection: Walk the Walk   


brotherly Kindness:
(or true friendship)

With The Bowels of Mercies

The word “bowels” is an ancient word with its Hebrew root meaning softness. It has to do with feelings, even compassion. Here, in this symbolic inner place of our being, God has used the expression ‘bowels of mercies’ to tell us that this is where we may contact, discern our gut feeling, even in our womb (where we give birth to emotions and feelings) the attributes we carry for true friendship. If we have feelings and mercies of pity and compassion within us to befriend in truth this is the seat of those feelings of compassion and the deep place in which the capability of housing the true spirit of friendship exists by the grace of God in each person. Brotherly kindness such as is used in describing the character of the Divine Nature is an expression signifying this true spirit of friendship. Brotherly kindness and friend are synonymous. Brotherly kindness is the highest degree of valor and truth; subservient only to pure love itself. But it is a component part of high, pure love. If we are incapable of befriending, we certainly cannot love because friendship is an integral part of love itself, just as all other parts of the Divine nature are integral and component answering in the end to love’s active existence in us. This is why it is rare for a man to have a friend at all; true love is rare. It is fair to venture to say that pure love only exists in this life through Jesus Christ, including his mercy upon us that we actually might experience the benefit and peace of having true friends who love us in this life. It is, next to salvation and the relationship with the Tri-une God, the finest gift we can have in this life. “But a man that hath friends must first show himself friendly.Prov. 18:4, which means he must prove himself trustworthy and capable of friendship if he is to have them.

We are warned, no counseled, by Scriptural example and proverb that friendship must be built, earned and proven, that it can never be accomplished by mere show or words or grandstanding deeds and flimsy promises untested. A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes surety in the presence of his Friend.” Prov. 17:18 People shake hands often enough and make deals like they were rock solid friends, but they can’t keep their word about them, cannot be honest, forthright and true-blue. Time and truth prove they are not real friends at all, only great pretenders wearing the hip-hop garb of mutuality which should never be mistaken for an act of friendship consistent with the Divine Nature. For friendship, which is brotherly love, is not realized through mutual or common interests, though this is the card-board cut out of friendship that the world offers to us. Friendship will have mutuality but it must also have difference and diversity of opinion and taste if it is to be tested and cinched up. In 16th Century England, The Quakers, formed their sect around this high notion of loving friendship and its importance in the higher degree of personal Christian character, calling themselves ‘The Society of Friends’. It was a noble venture and, at least in its early decades, even in America in Pennsylvania was guarded and staunchly adhered to. Treatises and testimonies abound in Quaker books and lore witnessing to their devotion to ‘Brotherly Kindness’ toward one another and their fellow man. For this reason Quakers were generally, pacifists and conscientious objectors. It was their connection with trade and commerce and banking, their success in the world, that did so much damage to their calling of faith and eventually corrupted their great ideals of the higher calling of love, but that is another story, not pertinent to our treatise. Brotherly kindness was expressed by that name with which the noble Quakers had christened their religion: ‘Friendship’. From the outset their founder, George Fox, rather than believing in the cultivation of the soil of the earth as fulfillment of the law of God’s love and peace, believed whole-heartedly in cultivation of the inner man toward true friendship toward God and in the body of Christ among its believers. In this hope, Fox rejected religion per se’ with its good works and hypocrisy, in preference to the religion of the individual priesthood and the sainthood of every humble believer. There was to be equality; no male or female, no rich or poor, no black or white. The ‘Brotherly kindness’ of true friendship among a clergy-less body of believers was the presumed devotion of every Quaker among its early generations in the formative years. And an admirable society it was, if for nothing else than its dedication to ‘friendship’, and resultant love in Christ Jesus. They choose the name ‘friend’ and attached to it, ‘society’, because friendship is the fundamental and first real act of true ‘community’ that can come from a person’s heart. It is the first and most primitive and essential act of being ‘one body’ a member together in one accord. Friendship is that ‘action of relationship’ that makes the saint one with another in Christ. There can be no community or society in the spirit, members of the same body, without truly becoming one in brotherly kindness (friendship). By this definition, if there are no friends there is no working body of true believers, no communion of the saints. On this point of true friendship we are exhorted to examine ourselves because it is the basis upon we should eat of the body of Christ together; and drink his blood. Not as acquaintances sharing things in common because we have common interests like baseball, tea sets, work out programs, favorite movies, stand-up comics, or flower shows. But because we hold that one thing in common that binds us together and teaches us about the real dictates of true friendship: Christ, our brother – even Christ who called his disciples at the Last Supper, no longer servants, but friends.


Friendship is an act of Community, of communion of being one accord

I do not know if friendship among believers should be considered a sacred thing, other than it is sacred because God seems to hold it sacred, because it is part of His Divine character which he hopes, and expects, we should diligently seek after. The Bible says that there is a friend who is greater even than a brother. That, greater brother/friend, of course, is Jesus Christ, the one who came in the flesh so that he might stand by us and be the one who can come to us in ‘brotherly kindness’ no matter what our trial or problem, or offense to the Father, may be, obtain forgiveness for us and freedom. He can identify with our humanity because he is our human brother. He will never shrink away from us, or cease battling with us to deliver us from evil and the temptation of sin which causes us so much shame and steals our liberty. God is also interested in teaching us about true friendship and what it entails in the inner man and how “the bowels of mercies” are actualized in our life. The first declaration of friendship that God presents to us in Scripture is when he spoke face-to-face with Moses as a friend. Of other true friends God says they spoke friendly, or as if they were of the same soul. Friends, I say true friends, i.e. really friends, must have this oneness of accord. They may not have all the same regards or interests, may not share the same avocation or be on the same social level or of the same education or degree of sophistication in matters of this life, but they will share the state of heart and love of God and Jesus Christ. This will be the well-spring of their on-going life and the strength that binds their relationship firmly and tightly together as a three-fold cord. All tendencies to condescend are dropped, dismissed as the sure road of mere acquaintance and roadblocks of friendship.

In this common place, this community of body, this ‘society of friends’ (and this complies with Christ’s statement that wherever two or three are gathered together in his name there he will be also) there is communion, or real ingestion of community and togetherness, that real benefit of friendship. Friend and actual community are one. Friendship begins to afford us the great opportunity to love, and without friends love is not proven to exist. We cannot love if we are alone; we can only theorize and conjecture and pontificate in our minds, but we can never love in all its tests and trials and challenging labors if we stay aloof and without friends. We may see why it is such a tragedy for the individual members of a body of believers not to be friends, why the Quakers esteemed friendship so highly. Friends speak face-to-face, they are privy to one another’s most secret thoughts. They are just in that they never will deceive, but they are-what-they-are to one another and they resist the natural inclination to flash off images at their friend to flatter or deceive for personal gain. A friend is not on the defensive, because true friends are forth coming. A true friend does not send a friend away in need by giving false hope or deceptive fibs just to stave off anguish or avoid the inconvenience of shouldering a problem. Friends will learn to strive to love at all times as the Bible urges people to do; if they don’t they have ceased to be really communing in brotherly kindness.

The Scriptural example of friendship as brotherly kindness is accentuated best in the well documented love between David and his enemy’s son, Jonathan. This relationship was not at all confined or imprisoned by the family ties of flesh or any worldly love. They lived out the truth that there is in this life friendship that bonds two together closer than brother or sisterhood, but only when it is molded by the Spirit of God into that ‘brotherly kindness’ called friendship. Of the hundreds of testimonies in the Scripture this relationship is one of the most touching because it shows the high emotion of holy affection that can be in a relationship of the most profound friendship. There is no greater love that a person can have than to give his life for his friends, that’s what Jesus declared to his friends, the disciples at the Last Supper. Jonathan was such a friend, dying as it were, a kind of martyrs’ death, when he knew he was giving up his future to save his friend, David from being murdered by his very own father, Saul.  Jonathan could not resist the affection of love that he felt for his ‘brother’ David though he knew it meant being separated from him. Proverbs 17:17 says; “Friends love at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.” Jonathan is a living example of this kind of undying friendship which God holds dear.

Because of this, a failure to have brotherly kindness and its bowels of mercies prevail causes a betrayal. Betrayal is the failure of a friend. There is no such thing as betrayal by any other than a friend. And it is the worst kind of injury because true friendship is the highest relationship, the most trusted relationship. Gossip, or as Proverbs puts it “whisperers” separate chief friends. But faithful are the words of a friend, never to hurt, generally to edify and help. There is a good reason why God despises the works of gossip and slander and why words in friendship should be faithful, because betrayal can devastate our womb of kindness and a cancer of bitterness can dry up our brotherly kindness. Only God can help us walk graciously away from a shipwrecked relationship in which friendship has ended. And we must allow him to comfort us, and send god-given friends to our aid, to comfort us, when necessary. It is so important that we must find comfort from Christ and hope in restoration, as long as there is any to be had. If not we must find the way to put it to rest and not let it affect our other relationships of living brotherly kindness.

Friends will give us good counsel not bad press. “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.” Prov. 27:9 Friends will be an agent of peace in our life through good counsel and gentle, calm resolve. Collusion is a worldly sign of friendship joined together by anger and not peacefulness. So friendship ought to increase our peace, be an addition to it. This does not mean there will not be some friction in a relationship, but it will be reciprocal friction that produces a sharpening of compassion, affection and an increase in love and general goodness in the character of each. The Bible makes the point this way: "As Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”Prov. 27:17 Friends are forged in this fashion in the furnace by desiring it and hoping for real friendship. This also means that friends are connected by judgment just as the sharpening friction can and is a form of judgment being called into action. They put one another to the test, require improvement and growth in the knowledge of relationship and understanding of requirement for friendship, without apology, without demanding apology. Friends are honest and hopeful for the other. But they do not put undo demands on their friend, and certainly never anything they would not demand of themselves. But this all friends must learn and become wise about. For it is the privilege of a friend to be a source of refreshment. Jesus offers this image of himself in the Song of Solomon 5:1; I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O Friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” Friends are not bound together by anger but by the refreshing power of peacefulness and kindness. This is why in the above passage Jesus can call his most beloved one, his sister his spouse, one among his friends. This is the significance of that great moment when God first revealed in his relationship with Abraham that man could be friend to God. “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.” Jm. 2:3 Jesus said at his last intimate moment with his disciples that if they did whatsoever he commanded o them, (proving they believed in him, as Abraham had believed God) they would be his friends. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15  By calling them friends he has lifted his disciples to an equal level on par with him by making them privy to his most deepest knowledge. They are not below him in a relationship he has bestowed the equality of knowledge of his personal life. Friends trust one another with knowing things about one another in the most profound matters. How appropriate that the last remark in the Bible using the term “friend” would be by that apostle of love, John and apply the same concept “speaking face-to-face” as God had used when describing his friendly relationship with Moses, ending his letter to the brethren in this friendly manner. “But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to thee. The friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.” 3 John: 14Biblically, knowing ones name was a sign of significant personal knowledge. Often friends have affectionate names or personal nicknames by which they share their intimacy in gesture or as token of friendship, to greet by name is an act of brotherly kindness reaching to the soft spot of one’s friend, opening that inner place for reception of further relationship. Jesus knew his friends by name. He latter promises to give them a new name in that glory land, which no man but he himself knows. This amounts to a promise of even greater intimacy of friendship in ages to come for every individual friend of Jesus, the living ideal of ‘brotherly kindness’. It gives even further weight to the premium that God holds on friendship in his eternal plan for man and his salvation.  

  How shall we act upon this hope and promise of friendship, but by believing and obeying Christ to the very best of our capability, even to perfection, so that we may first be accounted a ‘friend’ of God. This can only be accomplished by loving our fellows and especially “those of the household of God”, as we are told. We must prove that we love God by proving we love our neighbor. But to have friends we must first show ourselves friendly, in other words, compatible with friendship, capable of friendliness. For this the bowels of mercy are a sure way to institute and keep fresh in our inner man the desire and fires of a friendly nature, for this is the essence of Divine Friendly Nature, or Brotherly Kindness. I have taken the liberty to make a suggestive list of attitudes and challenges of compassion, forgiveness and pity that might be offered as a salute or right hand of fellowship to one’s potential or actual friend – this kind of kindness, is a remedy for what ails a friendship and often help to cover even a multitude of sins, as the scripture puts it. Here are some useful things for friends to dispense to one another as they walk together in true communion in the body of Christ as they are called, The Friends of God.        


  1. An understanding Glance
  2. An arm when the ground is slippery
  3. Encouraging & Enthusiastic “How do you do”
  4. Solice when you’re confused
  5. Companionship along THE WAY TO THE destination
  6. Someone to cover their back when theY’re in peril (they’ll take a hit for you)
  7. Sincere petitionS AND INTERCEDING for their good
  8. Honest posture in everything (Standing before the other without malice or deceit)
  9. Loyal friendship (Get out of Jail free card)
  10.  Always the benefit of the doubt

Do not our friends deserve all these and more? “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, BOWELS of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.Col. 3:12 When friendship is gained, it can only be preserved by having it tested in the furnace of true brotherly kindness. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his BOWELS of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17


            Where to begin? I don’t know! Print out a bunch of get out of jail free cards for any friend you are lucky enough to have. Don’t think evil about your friend first, but give your friend the benefit of the doubt for love thinks no evil.


Act 1:18

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his BOWELS gushed out.

2 Corinthians 6:12

Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own BOWELS.

Philippians 1:8

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the BOWELS of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:1

If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any BOWELS and mercies,

Colossians 3:12


Philemon 1:7

For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the BOWELS of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Philemon 1:12

Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own BOWELS:

Philemon 1:20

Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my BOWELS in the Lord.

1 John 3:17