This chapter opens with a famous verse about procrastination, but continues with the best qualities of a good friend. They are honest, they hold each other accountable, they seek improvement for themselves and each other, and they bring joy to each other’s lives. Solomon provides guidelines for his readers to use as they interact with their neighbors. These guidelines show the audience who would make the best friends, while also warning against those people who pretend to be friendly but are actually enemies. As we grow older, we gain a responsibility to surround ourselves with people who help us become better, and to end friendships with those who make us worse; this chapter provides qualifications to help us make those decisions.
Verses 5-6: “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Verse 17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Verse 19: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”