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Am I a Good Friend?

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Diana Nerie R. Galan

Friendships are one of the rainbow colors that add beauty to our skies. We share each other’s experiences, burdens, and triumphs. Some sacrifice their time to comfort during our downfalls and celebrate growths. Having friends provides social and emotional support, alleviates loneliness, and makes us feel better and happier in life. Allows us to confide in them and let them confide in us.

Years as it was for some, however, others just started this peculiar bond.

We can easily say that she’s our friend but maintaining this kind of relationship is tough. They say, ” Good friends last a lifetime.” A 2009 Dutch study found that a large majority of friendships only last about seven years. Like any relationship, it takes a lot of work if you want it to last a lifetime. It has to be both of you being that GOOD friend for each other. So what does it takes to be a good one?  Read on as we learn more about its characteristics.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

A good friend loves.

This Bible scripture says that love is a quality of a good friend and that a good friend will love you no matter what. Good friends don’t look for ways to avoid showing affection for you; instead, they look for new ways to do it.

Friendship love knows no color, age, race, and religion. The love it radiates transcends down to the depths of our souls. Making every circumstance lighter by having someone whom we know loves us. 

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” 

A good friend respects.

In good and healthy friendships, both friends need to be equal, safe, valued, and accepted for who they are regardless of their own choices in life.

Do our friends disregard our feelings? Do they treat us as if we don’t matter? If yes, they do not respect us. Ignoring being mistreated by unrespectful friends is never a reason to stay. 

We must not take advantage of others as good friends. We ought to make them feel validated.

Proverbs 18: 24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,

    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

A good friend is trustworthy.

All of our relationships as Christians should be Christ-centered. It will ensure us that the friends we make, even only a couple, are trustworthy. Trust assures us that we can count on them. Many come and go with circumstances and based on how they benefit from the relationship. Look for someone that is there in the good and bad times.

Proverbs 13:20 “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

A good friend exercises wisdom.

The idea is not to arbitrarily distance yourself from individuals who we believe lack knowledge but to study their behavior over time. There is a quote that says, ” Tell me who your friends are, I will tell you who you are.” If their habits contradict being wise then the chances of us having those are high. They influence us because we choose them as our companions. That is to say, walk with the ones who help us in doing what is right.

Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” 

A good friend is vigilant.

Regardless of everyone can be your friend, a good friend watches and chooses their friends deliberately. Friendship is a blessing from God, yet He does not approve of all friendships. Friends who comprehend the essence of friendship and strive to treat it as a gift from God are good friends. They aren’t careless when selecting their friends, but once they do, they are cautious not to offend.

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

A good friend sacrifices.

Jesus exemplifies the idea that a good friend is willing to sacrifice for you. Sacrifice is an essential characteristic of a good friendship. Jonathan and David’s example of friendship in (1 Samuel 18:4) supports Jesus’ assertion in (John 15:13). If you read the opening verse of 1 Samuel’s 18th chapter, you’ll discover that Jonathan adored David and embraced him as a buddy. Although Jonathan was the King’s son, the King despised David and plotted to kill him. Jonathan, however, understanding his father’s intention, risked his life to assist David.

Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

A good friend doesn’t honor gossips.

Even in the best of friendships, gossip hurts and causes isolation, as this scripture demonstrates. We must be cautious of the words that came out of our mouths. As a friend, we ask ourselves first if it is true, necessary, and kind.

            Friends that are worthy of praise don’t gossip. Instead, they communicate only the facts, and if they are unsure, they seek clarification.

Proverbs 27: 5  Open rebuke is better than secret love.

 A good friend rebukes appropriately.

An open rebuke is a sign of true friendship. When two friends have a one-on-one encounter, one buddy tells the other about his flaws in private. The rebuke may harm the friend’s ego, but if offered and received in the spirit of love, it will help the delinquent brother grow and mature. A friend who loves us only in mind or privately, but not indeed, will never help us understand our flaws by speaking out against us, even if they give us the Judas kiss, is not a true friend.

There aren’t many people looking for a friend who courageously speaks their minds whenever their friend does wrong. We usually seek those who sugar coats compliments, tolerate our wrongdoings, and don’t correct our toxic behavior. 

A friend’s rebuke hits our hearts, yet they will do more good than a devious, deceiving, and crafty enemy’s kisses.

Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”

A good friend supports each other.

We may be under a trial or an obstacle but a friend along the way who helps us is godsent. Many times in life, we believe that if we just had someone to talk to, we could get through a difficult situation. A caring friend is always there for us and is eager to accompany us through a collapsed house. This isn’t to imply they’ll just blindly follow us everywhere we go. They can and will assist us by recognizing the advantages and disadvantages of a decision you’re about to make, or by letting us know if they disagree with us. They will, however, try their best to support us once we make whatever decision we select. 

James. 4:11 “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

According to this Bible scripture, brothers and sisters should not pass judgment on one another. They will be breaking God’s liberal law if they do so. The terms “sister” and “brother” in this context refer to someone close to you, in this example, your friends. Friends who care about you will take the time to listen to what you have to say before casting judgment.

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” 

A good friend forgives.

We feel bad whenever a friend has wronged us. It is very hard to forgive but the verse commanded us that a true follower of Christ obeys His commandments by forgiving our fellow. There is a mystery in forgiveness in that it is not just an act of personal will; there is something indescribable that happens too, something beyond our conscious control. Forgiveness happens, to a large extent, by allowing ourselves to become available to the Grace of God. A good friend forgives because He is also forgiven by God.

If you can’t find a good friend be ONE.

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some lovin’ care
And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

 – “ You’ve got a friend”, Carole King

Image from A Conscious Rethink/Google

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