The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)
I am very grateful for my friends and family. True friends are a beautiful gift and the importance of being a loyal friend to others is paramount to enjoying life-giving friendships ourselves.
At the beginning of humanity, God said to Adam, “it’s not good for a man to be alone” – these words preceded the creation of Eve. But our need for companionship and connection extends beyond the need for only a life partner, we also need close platonic relationships. In Australia, we speak of “mateship” but you may refer to this as “buddies” or simply “friends” – however you would describe it – right now is a good time to remember to be a loyal friend to others.
We all need friends in difficult and confusing times like these. Yet, true friendship can be elusive. What does it actually mean to be a good friend? Whilst we are physically distanced and socially isolated, allow me to encourage you to connect with your friends and let them know that you are thinking of them and are there for them. The best of friendships have a natural flow; nothing is forced, and there are no strings attached. Being a good friend requires intention.
Social distancing is an unfortunate reality right now, and let’s be honest, it can be difficult. You may have genuine friends that are overseas or living a significant distance away from you, or perhaps you miss spending time with friends who live nearby – regardless of the circumstance, rest assured, you can still remain as close as ever to the people you love.
So, what does a genuine and life-giving friendship look like? Here are some thoughts on true friends:
1. You may lead very different lives, yet you are heading in the same direction and are not pulling against each other.
2. You want nothing from each other beyond friendship, encouragement, and companionship. In other words, there are no hidden agendas.
3. You have kindred spirits. You have may have different gifting, talents and callings, but you are united in spirit and cause.
4. You are committed to building each other up and to be there for one another; even when others are missing.
5. You only want what’s best for the other person. No self-serving, no hidden motives and no selfish intent.
6. Your loyalty stands firm in every season. You are not fair-weather friends who are only there for the good times. You are a constant friend in all seasons.
7. You are committed to each other’s success and always ready to cheer the other on. You are never threatened or insecure.
8. You are committed to generosity in every season; generous in words, spirit and actions.
9. You are open to be challenged when it comes from a pure heart, and it ultimately makes you better. You spur each other on into greater things.
10. You know how to weep together and rejoice together. You mutually enjoy the wonder of laughter in the good times, and genuine comfort and compassion in the tough times.
God’s Word also says a lot about friendship. Below is a short list of just some of King Solomon’s wisdom regarding friends. I encourage you to take a moment to ponder each of these verses and think of how you can apply them to your friendships. Let’s all commit to be the friend to others that we would want our friends to be to us.
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV)
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
Proverbs 22:11 (NKJV)
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV)
Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Proverbs 27:9 (NKJV)
As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)
Stay in faith, the BEST is yet to come.
Global Senior Pastor