Article - How to be a Real Friend

There are many different types of friends in this world. For example, there are “fair weather” friends who stick by your side as long as things are going well. There are “friends for hire” who are only your friend because they get something out of being you friend. Of these friends the Bible states, “Every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). There are “pseudo friends” who pretend to be your friend, but then turn around and stab you in the back. Then, there are true friends indeed. Notice several characteristics of a true friend.

A true friend is one who cares for you out of respect for who you are. The writer of Proverbs said, “A friend loves at all time…” (Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of friends who stick with you through thick and thin. A good example of this would be the relationship that the Apostle Paul and Luke had. Of this relationship Paul said during difficult times, “Only Luke is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11).

A true friend is faithful to you. The write of Proverbs said this concerning a faithful friend, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). A true friend does not lie about you or say things behind your back. A faithful friend is there for you in the good and the bad times. Friends that are truly faithful help us to become better friends also. Solomon stated, “ As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

A true friend is concerned more about doing right than hurting your feelings. The wise man said, “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5). The writer of Proverbs teaches us a valuable lesson about friendship. A true friend will tell you the truth at all times whether we like it or not. Someone who lies to you to make you feel better is not a real friend. Little wonder is it then that the Bible says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” (Proverbs 27:6). A true friend who may have hurt your feelings telling you the truth is a faithful friend.

All of the characteristics of a true friend are really exemplified in one man—Jesus Christ. Jesus is our best friend in the whole world. He cares deeply for us (John 3:16). He looks out for our own spiritual welfare (Hebrews 2:9). He even went to the Cross and died for each one of us (1 Peter 2:24). The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we a friend to Jesus?” Jesus tells us how we can be his friends. He said, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). If you are not obeying the will of God, you are not a friend of Jesus. If you are obeying God’s will, you could have no better friend.

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