One of the deepest human needs is for friendship. But just what is a friend?
Qualities of a Good Friend
A True Friend Shares Life
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A friend is on the scene when you need him. A friend is somebody who is wise enough to leave you alone when you want to be. A friend helps you celebrate, and he or she is a cause for celebration when there is nothing else to celebrate.
A True Friend Sharpens Character
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
A good friend will put a keen edge on your life, but a false friend will blunt and dull your life.
A friend knows how to speak words that will draw you out and lead you on. Have friends who make you a better person.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). Thank God for friends who love us enough to put their arms around our shoulders and tell us when something needs to be corrected.
A True Friend Sticks Close
If you want to know who your real friends are, make a mistake. Who stays with you? One of the great admonitions about friendship in the Bible is Proverbs 27:10— “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend.”
How to Make Friends
Friendships are built; they do not happen overnight. There are five secrets to making a friend, but all come out of this one principle, given by Christ: “Just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).
We are accepted by the grace of God, and we ought to accept others by the grace of God. There is a difference in acceptance and approval. You can accept people without approving what they do.
Pay attention to people. Give them your full attention—your eye contact.
“I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1). When you acknowledge a person, you are saying, “You are important to me.” People need that.
Find something you can compliment and appreciate.
You will find that when Paul wrote to the early churches, before he would jump on something that was wrong, he would say some word of appreciation.
Why do people have difficulty doing the above three things? Because they themselves have a negative self-image.
“The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9).
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). When people are going through heartache and tears, they are not primarily interested in your answers to their problems. But they will be interested in you sitting down and crying with them a little bit.
Maintaining Healthy Friendships
Once you build a friendship, it has to be maintained.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24a). That means: don’t have more friends than you can be friendly to. Genuine friends are costly. Friends can bring personal, social, emotional, and financial demands, but maintain your friendships. It is worth it.
Sharing God’s Friendship
What did Jesus Christ do with His friendship? He ministered to us.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Christians make friends not just for a lifetime, but for eternity. Jesus was a friend of sinners. We are now His body, and we are to be reaching out to people who are perishing.