The topic of ‘friends’ has been a theme in my life recently. From old friends, and new friends, to long distance friends, close friends, and dramatic friends… they just keep coming up in my life, prayers, and thoughts.
In the past, I have done a lot of study on what a friend is, and there is a lot of information. For this post, though, I’m going to focus on three main key things that I have observed over and over again as being important for friendships. Specifically, there are three things we can do to be good friends.
This seems a bit cliche, but it really is SO important. Three different people in the past week have said this in conversation as one of the most important things in a friend. Loyalty… when things get hard, when things are hard to figure out, and when someone is not at their best. Loyalty, especially, when someone is struggling. That is the time when someone needs a friend most, and yet so often people seem to disappear right at that point because they don’t want to deal with the hard stuff or because they just don’t know how to help. Maybe they are afraid or are simply unaware or distracted. I think of David and Jonathan in the Bible; when things got sticky with David and hard to figure out, Jonathan didn’t leave. Instead, he reaffirmed his friendship and supported David through it all. Things might have been a lot easier for him otherwise, but he stuck with his friend.
And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 20:17 (NIV)
Accepting friends for who they are is really important. Again, this seems obvious, but again, it is really important! Simply love your friends for who they are and accept their quirks. For example, I have a lot of health issues that can make it difficult to be my friend. Even a simple thing of meeting me at a coffee shop, for example, is incredibly complicated. Or I will often have a few mental things related to it that means that I might not make sense most of the time or forget important things like my friend’s birthday. Maybe for you it’s your obsession with books, your tendency of bursting into song at random moments, or responding late to texts or emails… in other words, things that other people may find irritating or make their life more uncomfortable. Accepting those things in your friends is important! It’s just part of who they are!
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
- Telling the Truth
Acceptance doesn’t mean, however, not telling the truth. Even as we accept our friends for who they are, we can’t be afraid to tell the truth…even if it is the truth that they don’t want to hear. I know I am so thankful when friends tell me the truth, and I want to be able to be relied on to do that for them as well. Clearly, it’s telling the truth in love…kindly, and gently, but it is telling the truth nonetheless.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Have a wonderful day!
Hello, my name is Sara! I am also fifteen years old, I am a black-mold fighter, and I like to read, write, act, make jewelry, and have adventures (most of which tend to be with my family whether it’s a long hike up a mountain or a fun new board game). I also write for Th!nk magazine, a free, online, Christian magazine: mythinkmag.wordpress.com. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 34:5: “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”