4 Characteristics of a True Friend for Life

By: Amanda Frittz

God created us to have fellowship with one another. As humans, we have a biological deep-rooted desire to have emotionally intimate relationships.

Our desire for connection can even have an effect on our health if it is not fulfilled. This isn’t just from the Bible either, it’s been studied and proven. Here’s a link to some statistics and here’s a more digestible article that goes over the statistics found.

What does a true friend look like and how can you become one?

God has given us a layout of what true friendship should look like. We don’t have to do any guessing! He has already laid out the foundation for his children of how to truly love someone in the Bible.

Two friends sitting on a park bench laughing.

A True Friend is Quick to Forgive & Slow to Anger

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way…”

We are all sinners. Take that in… no, seriously take that in.

We all sin, but we often raise our friends and family to impossibly high standards. At least, I know I’ve been guilty of this countless times before.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

When you put your friends and family on a pedestal they don’t belong on you’re sure to be devastated when they let you down. It might even seem like your world is crumbling.

However, when you keep them level with yourself and realize that they are sinners too the disappointment won’t be so devastating and it will be easier to forgive them.

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

We have to remember that God is our only rock. We can treasure our friends and family, but they will fall short to show us perfect love.

Matthew 6:15 “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Knowing that we must forgive our friends and family, just as God has forgiven us for our trespasses.

Pin Image - a group of friends walking downtown and laughing

A True Friend Puts God First

Acts 28:31 “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”

True friends aren’t going to worry about tip-toeing around the truth in order to avoid offending you. They will preach God’s truth to you and remain bold in their faith.

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple”

While this doesn’t actually mean we should hate our brothers and sisters it DOES mean we should love them less. We should always value God above our friendships and come to realize that if our friends are indeed true friends they will understand our hearts convictions and take corrections with grace.

Yes, sometimes our own convictions or corrections may indeed offend our friends or make them uncomfortable. However, if they are a true friend you’ll be able to walk out those hard conversations and remain friends at the end of the day.

I myself haven’t always been very good about this. I would continue with activities that made me uncomfortable because I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s time.

My hearts convictions were not what I held above all else. However, as my faith has grown I’ve begun to care less about how people perceive me and more about how God perceives me. Now, if friends are watching something I don’t want to watch or playing a game I don’t want to play I will speak up.

Sure, it’s a bit uncomfortable at first but it gets easier with time.

A group of friends walking downtown and laughing.

A True Friend Leads You Back to God When You Are Going Astray

Proverbs 14:!2 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

True friends are going to correct you when they see you walking in the wrong direction because they care about your eternity.

Galatians “6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

We are to bring light to any missteps we see our brothers and sisters making. Remember to have the right heart posture correcting however, bringing light to sin should not make us feel superior. The correction should be done out of love knowing that what they are doing will lead to hurt.

Also, be careful not to speak into areas that you are mutually struggling with as you guys could end up enabling each other to continue in those habits. For example, if you are struggling with putting down your husband you should not correct a sister who is also doing the same.

A correction is much more effective if it’s coming from someone who is a positive example of how to walk correctly.

I myself have been given correction in my church community. A few months ago I was offended by a member of the church and my discretion in the situation was not what it should have been.

Instead of immediately going to talk to that person I confided in friends. While this may not seem all that terrible, it had the potential to cause some bitterness among the community.

So, an elder in my church pulled my husband and myself aside and gave me some advice for future offenses. While this didn’t necessarily feel good to my flesh in the moment, my desire for the Lord helped me receive the wisdom I was given and take it to heart.

A group of friends sitting on a park bench and talking.

True Friends Sacrifice Their Comfort for One Another

Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

True friends are going to sacrifice their comfort and personal desires to serve one another.

As children of God, we are to love each other as we love ourselves. That’s a big call! I don’t know about you, but I care a LOT about myself. I like to make sure I have enough “me time” and I often feel that I deserve to treat myself occasionally.

Not that either of these things are inherently bad, but sometimes they must be sacrificed for the sake of a friend.

If a friend comes to me for help with kids or dinner I want to make myself available to help them. Even if helping them means sacrificing some of my personal desires.

Sure, that may mean less me time or a little less cash but I take joy in serving my friends. Okay… maybe I don’t always immediately, but I never regret making a sacrifice for friends.

Serving our brothers and sisters in times of need is always rewarding. Even if you don’t feel it in the moment, looking back you’ll feel good knowing you followed God’s desires for you.

6 Comments

  1. Yaa Attobrah
    March 5, 2019 / 5:51 pm

    I appreciate ymthe candid way you share. Bless your heart for the honesty. I am always uplifted by the sincerity of believers walking out their fate. You have given me lots to think about.

    • Faith in Home
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks so much! <3

  2. March 5, 2019 / 5:59 pm

    Friends who never sugarcoat the truth. Have a solid relationship with God, and are always ready to remind you of God’s love for you. This is such an inspiring post. Thanks for this wonderful piece.

    • Faith in Home
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 7:38 pm

      So true! Thanks so much <3

  3. March 5, 2019 / 6:31 pm

    Such good points made in this post. I think it would be a great conversation topic in a group setting. I have been blessed to have a few true friends that have most definitely stuck with me through thick and thin. They pointed me lovingly (and I know i was being difficult) to what God’s word said when I was headed in the wrong ditection. So blessed by them. Thank you for reminding of how blessed I truly am in my friends!

    • Faith in Home
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 7:39 pm

      It is such a blessing to have a true friend! It’s always good to have people leading you back to God during hard times <3

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