Some of us have had friends since we were toddlers. Long, abiding friendships that started while we were still in diapers and continued throughout school, through marriages, and starting our own families. But just as precious are those friendships that we found later in life where it feels as though we have known each other our entire lives because we “just clicked.”
So, why is friendship important?
Life is hard. In today’s world, we face a myriad of difficulties from illness to job loss. One of the many blessings the Lord gives us is the blessing of friends. Someone to come alongside us when times are tough. Someone to be there for us, and to pray for and with us.
But it’s not only friendship, but quality friendship that matters. Proverbs 18:24 has much to say about that very topic.
What exactly is an unreliable friend? Here are some qualifications of being unreliable:
undependable, deceptive, untrustworthy, capricious, false, unstable, and fickle.
Not good qualities for a friend. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that if we have friends that exhibit those traits, we are in danger of coming to ruin. However, on the flipside is a friend who is loyal, steadfast, devoted, faith, constant, abiding, and true. We should also strive to be this type of friend to our friends.
In addition, Proverbs 27:9 tells us that a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. In these days of busyness, chaos, difficult times, and so many unknowns, refreshment of the soul is more than welcome.
So, what are some qualities of a good friend?
- They are avid prayer warriors and aren’t afraid to pray for and with you wherever and whenever necessary.
- They are an ardent cheerleader and support you, even if your dreams are a bit crazy at times.
- They gently tell you in the kindness and humility if necessary if there’s something amiss that you need to address.
- They promote an evenly-matched (or close-to-evenly-matched) friendship (as we all have times when we are the more “needy” one). Meaning they are there for you and you are there for them and it’s not one-sided.
- They are a good listener. We’ve all been around those folks that only talk about themselves or their problems. All. The. Time. Good friends talk as well as listen.
- They have integrity. Nothing is worse than discovering a close friend has betrayed you.
- They stand up for you in times of battle. When the bully is knocking down your door, your close friend is there to take on the enemy with you.
- They help you strive to be your best self. In Proverbs 27:17, we are reminded that iron sharpens iron. A quality friend rejoices with you when you rejoice, and weeps with you when you weep (Romans 12:15). They spur you on and offer encouragement.
Most of us have several friends and acquaintances, but who do we call in those times of need – those times of struggle – those times when no one else quite “gets us”? Those are the friends that God placed in our lives as gifts.
The ones we are blessed to have.
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