What Does True Friendship Look Like? – Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

What Does True Friendship Look Like? – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

Friendships are often bonded in pain. Sometimes, you go through some really tough times together. Thank God today for that special friend.

By Chris WittsWednesday 28 Feb 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Well, what is friendship? What does true friendship look like? Herb Goldberg writes in The Hazards of Being Male that 85% of American men do not have true friends. They have buddies, like bowling buddies, football buddies, etc.

Goldberg defines friends as people we can talk to about our deepest-held secrets and don’t feel criticised or judged.

Possibly it’s true here in Australia. As we get older we have experienced more difficulties with friends. Many of us have been lied to, mistreated, rejected and ignored by people we thought were friends so we stop wanting to open up only to be hurt again. Most of us talk only about neutral subjects so it all stays on the safe side.

Common Signs of a Good Friend

Some common signs of a good friend include someone who:

  • will support you no matter what
  • you can trust and who won’t judge you
  • won’t put you down or deliberately hurt your feelings
  • is kind and has respect for you
  • will love you because they choose to, not because they feel like they should
  • you enjoy their company
  • shows loyalty
  • is being trustworthy and willing to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard
  • can laugh when you do
  • is willing to stick around when things get tough
  • makes you smile
  • is there to listen
  • will cry when you cry.

Taking These Steps Will Help

You should try and befriend yourself 
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

This is an essential first step if you are to be a true friend. If you don’t even accept yourself, how can you accept others? You may have made mistakes in the past that you can’t forget. But forgive yourself for them. You perhaps don’t have the traits you want in life. But accept yourself as you are.

Be interested in others
If you want to be interesting you should first be interested. Be curious. Cultivate interest about many things. If you do that, you can genuinely be enthusiastic when people talk to you about something. People will feel appreciated and love to be around you.

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Take initiative to help
It was Benjamin Franklin who said: “Make use of your friends by being of use to them.”

A true friend doesn’t wait until someone asks his help. Instead, he takes the initiative to help others. This, of course, is easier said than done. To do this, you should be on the lookout for needs. Be sensitive. Often you can find others’ needs through what they implicitly say. You may also see it through their body language. When you sense a need, think about how you can help them and take the initiative to help.

Trust others
Confidence is the foundation of friendship. If we give it, we will receive it. If you treat others as good and trustworthy people, they will also treat you likewise. Believe in your heart that people are naturally good, even when they seem to be the opposite. People will feel how you believe in them and they will be touched by your sincerity.

True friends are more interested in giving than receiving. These are the ones that go the extra mile to help you, perform favours without being asked and derive pleasure just from seeing a smile on your face. They do these things without expectation of return because their love is unconditional.

True Friendship in the Scriptures

What is true friendship according to the Bible? The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a true friend:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:13-15 – NIV).

Jesus is the pure example of a true friend, for he laid down his life for his ‘friends’. What is more, anyone may become his friend by trusting in him as his personal saviour, being born again and receiving new life in him.

Jesus said: Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. He is the perfect example of a true friend.

There is an example of true friendship between David and Saul’s son Jonathan, who, in spite of his father Saul’s pursuit of David and attempts to kill him, stood by his friend. You will find that story in 1 Samuel chapter 18 through chapter 20. Some pertinent passages are 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:4-7; 20:11-17, and 20:41-42.

Proverbs is another good source of wisdom regarding friends:

  • A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17)
  • A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24)
  • Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses (Proverbs 27:6)
  • As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

The principle of friendship is also found in Amos:

Friends are of like mind. The truth that comes from all of this is a friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals, and it is only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it.

Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you. A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust. A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon a likeness of mind.

Finally, the real definition of a true friend comes from the Apostle Paul:

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8 – NKJV).

And in John 15:13 we read: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Jesus, of course, is our greatest friend!

Other Definitions of a Friend

  • A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you just the same.
  • A true friend will go on liking you, no matter how successful either of you becomes.
  • A friend is one who strengthens you with his prayers, blesses you with his love, and encourages you with his hope.
  • A friend is somebody who is on the scene when you need him and quietly leaves when you want to be left alone.
  • A friend is someone who is there when you call and sometimes even before you call.
  • Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.  Many might have fallen beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.

Friendships are often bonded in pain. Sometimes, you go through some really tough times together, and those friendships share a common painful moment that very few know about. Thank God today for that special friend who is there for you—who knows, God may have placed him/her just for you for a reason.