9 Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)
What are the characteristics of a real friend?
1. A real friend is loyal
17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
A genuine friend is in your corner when you’re cornered.
A real friend sees you through when everybody else sees you’re through.
A real friend walks in when everybody else walks out.
Real friends are like toothpaste — they come through in a tight squeeze, when the pressure’s on.
A real friend takes sides. They stick with you even when it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, when it costs personally, even when you don’t deserve it.
Want to see what kind of friend you have, let some trouble or conflict come into your life and see what they do? If they only care about your when there is fun or when you can give them something, they are loyal not to you. What about when you don’t have anything to give?
2. A real friend is honest
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 (NLT)
A friend is somebody who will say something to you and, even though it hurts, it’s the truth and they do it because they love you. They care enough to correct. A true friend will level with you. They will shoot straight with you. They are open and honest. If you ask them to tell you the truth, they’ll give it to you. They’ll give you the facts even when it’s painful.
Everybody has blind spots. All of us need somebody who cares enough to say “There is something you are not seeing” Some people say, “I know they’re my friend and I know they’re making a big mistake, but it’s none of my business.” Friends make it their business.
Some fear telling people the truth. They would rather just say things that make others happy.
If you are aware and you care you will share. Friends make it their business to be caring and say, “You’re making a mistake.”
3. A real friend helps me grow
17 As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
Even in their honesty, a real friend’s purpose is to make you better. That’s why they care enough to say something. If a friend has proven they are loyal, and honest, they will also help to grow.
A real friend stimulates you to be better. They bring out the best in you. They will encourage you. They lift you up. They motivate you. You don’t need any friends who are constantly negative, constantly putting you or others down or being critical. What you need is somebody who’ll say “You can do it! Make the effort!” “I believe in you.” You need somebody who will build you up.
The best friend you’ll ever have
No one has ever followed all of these principles from the Bible, better than Jesus! If you haven’t met Him yet, I hope you will receive Him as your friend today.
First, Jesus deserves to be your best friend because He already knows you better than anyone else. One definition of a friend is, someone who knows all about us and likes us anyway. Well, no one better fulfills that qualification as Jesus.
Secondly, Jesus deserves to be your best friend because He had done more for you than anyone else. (John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Third, Jesus deserves to be your best friend because; He will always be there when you need Him. (Matt. 28:18) “I will be with you always even until the end”
What other qualities do you think make a real friend?
For more about the series, “Relationships, the Best Mess” go to www.RidgeFellowship.com