A true friend is someone who always lets you in and never lets you down. (Tim Keller)
We all need friends, relationships, in our lives. To go through life alone would be lonely, unbearably so.
At a quick glance, Proverbs offers us insight into the qualities of a good friend:
- “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (17:17, NLT)
- “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (27:6, NLT)
- “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” (27:9, NLT)
We are called friends with God, showing us not only the important role relationships play in our lives but more so, three qualities to be found in a friend:
- Constant – meaning not changing or varying; unceasing. “He [God] never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17). He will also never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We can be assured the Lord will never abandon His own.
- Candid. Jesus confronted those around Him in an open and sincere manner. He was always straightforward. He said what He meant and meant what He said. Today through the work of the Holy Spirit, He still exposes our shortcomings. “And when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of it sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8, NLT).
- Committed. God is bound to His people, obligated, devoted. His promises are yes and amen. The true test of friendship was found in and through His Son, Jesus Christ, who lay down His life for us. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NLT).
Friends are there in time of need, sticking around in the good times and the bad . They care for the poor and are not drawn into friendship by wealth or status. A true friend is not in it for what they can gain from another. They give wise and heartfelt counsel, yes, even when it is hard and uncomfortable.
The question is not so much do we have these sort of friends but …
Are we this sort of friend?