We have minimized the understanding of a true friend to the point that a superficial status on Facebook determines if someone is our friend or not. So how do you know if someone is a true friend? Here are 7 marks of a true friend.
We have lost the ability to bare our souls, stand with a brother or sister, and truly be a friend in every sense of the word. Examine those you do life with and see if they exhibit these traits.
Now understand, no one is perfect and will most likely fail at one or more of these at various times in your friendship. If you place a person on a pedestal to uphold these completely all of the time, they will surely let you down. These should be overwhelmingly present traits within your relationship though.
So what is it that makes a true friend?
A Good Friend Listens
A good friend allows those they are friends with to let it all out. They don’t judge you, and they can be raw with you. There is an old saying that says, “we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
On the flip side though they will give you sound Biblical advice. Just read through Proverbs and see how many times it mentions having wise counselors, and listening to advice.
A Good Friend Makes Time For You
A good friend makes time for you regardless of what is going on. Robert Brault is credited with saying,
I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.
On the flip side, a good friend understands that you need your privacy, alone time, and you have your own priorities to tend to. They won’t be overbearing on requesting your time.
Another facet of this trait is that time doesn’t affect the relationship. You can go months or even years without seeing each other or talking and it doesn’t affect your relationship. You can pick up right where you left off.
A Good Friend Pushes You To Be Better
A good friend will push you to be better and greater than who you are. When you are stuck, they help you to be greater. Proverbs 27:17 tells us,
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
A Good Friend is Trustworthy
The mafia believes that dead men tell no secrets. The problem is a dead man doesn’t make a very good friend. A good friend is trustworthy in their dealings.
They keep secrets.
They keep their word.
They keep their schedule.
You can trust them with your life. They are “worthy” of your “trust.”
A Good Friend Holds You Up When You Are Hurting
In Exodus 17 we see the Israelites fighting Amalek. As long as Moses had his arms up they were winning, but any time his arms came down Amalek prevailed.
When Moses could no longer hold his arms up Aaron and Hur held them for him. A good friend will hold you up when you can no longer do so. They will help you get the victory over the situation that is overtaking you, and when you can no longer go on.
A Good Friend Expects No Return
A good friend is willing to give their time, money, and possessions to those closest to them without ever expecting a return.
On the flip side, a good friend never goes without repaying a debt. A good friend does not take advantage of those they are closest to.
A Good Friend Follows Matt 7:12
Matthew 7:12 is the golden rule: treat others the way you want them to treat you. More often than not we want to treat others the way they treat us.
A good friend treats others the way they would want to be treated. The golden rule is simple to follow in theory, but can be difficult to implement.
It can be tempting to go it alone, but the body of Christ was made for community, and community starts with friendship. Be the kind of friend you would want to have.
2 Action Questions On Being A True Friend:
- What other traits do you look for in a true friend?
- What is the one area of friendship you need to focus on to become a greater friend?
Share your answers in a comment below.