What characteristics make a good friend? Are you those things to your friends?

What characteristics make a good friend? Are you those things to your friends?

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

A Friend in Need

The best thing that I can say about friends is they are there when you need them. It seems, as the Proverbs say, that they were born for times of adversity and that they’ll love you at all times (Prov. 17:17). They are your friends during times of sorrow, during times of loss, during times of success, during times of joy, and through good times and bad. That’s why the Bible tells us to never forsake our friends (Prov. 27:10) because the day will come when we’ll need them and they’ll need us. Can you think of any other characteristics that make a good friend? Do you have any of these characteristics? Do you have a close friend? If not, find one and become their friend. The older I get, the more I value friends and don’t take them for granted.

A Friend in Deed

Your real friends will tell you the truth. They’ll tell you that you have food stuck in your teeth or on your chin. They’ll tell you that your blouse has a button missing or your hair is sticking up in the back. Friends will risk telling their friends the truth because they love them enough to do that. That’s why the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy (Prov. 27:6). I would rather have a friend tell me when I’m wrong than to find out the hard way. Just like oil and perfume (or cologne if you’re a man) cheer up the heart, so too does the sweetness that comes from a friend and his or her sincere counsel (Prov. 27:9).

Need a Friend? Be a Friend

When my son was very young, he complained to me that he didn’t have any friends. I asked him a few questions and found out that he never acted friendly to anyone at all. To have a friend or to find a friend, be one. A lot of people say that they are friends with someone, but when someone talks behind their back and that person says nothing to defend them, are they really their friend? Many like to proclaim they’re loyal to someone, but who’s really trustworthy determines whether they’re a real friend or not (Prov. 20:6). When David had to run for his life from Saul, it seemed all of his “friends” had vanished from the human race (Psalm 12:1). David’s only real, true friend was Jonathan. They were so loyal to each other, risking their lives for one another, it was as though their souls were knitted together, and David loved Jonathan as he did his own soul (1 Sam. 18:1). What about you? What characteristics make a good friend? Do you have these same characteristics to the friends you have now?

A Closing Prayer

Father, You have befriended us by reconciling us to Yourself through the death of Your one and only Son, Jesus Christ. I thank You for being there for me, through thick and thin, good and bad, and in the mighty name of Jesus I thank You and pray.


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