Friendships are one of the many beautiful gifts God has given us. Friends can bring us closer to God and have the capacity to change us, positively or negatively. Sometimes it is difficult to find good friends who will stay by your side. Personally, I have experienced friendship on the widest spectrum. I have had friends who have loved me unconditionally like Christ and I have had friends who have thrown away our friendship. Difficulties in friendships can be heartbreaking. I encourage you to be the kind of friend you would want to have. It is important as Christians to honor God through these relationships. Here are ten points to consider in your friendships. I encourage you to examine these points in your life to ensure that you are being a godly friend and that your friends have these essential qualities.
A good friend…
1 Thessalonians 5:11 commands, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” That is the kind of friend Christ calls you to be! You should rejoice when your friend receives an award or recognition. You should encourage her to grow in her relationship with Christ. Being encouraging does not mean sugar coating everything, but remaining positive, even when the situation may seem bleak.
2. Is a Truth Speaker
A godly friend speaks truth into your life, even when it is difficult to hear. A true friend loves you and genuinely wants the best for you. They will tell you both the good and the bad. She will tell you when she feels that you are walking away from the Lord or if she feels that you have been walking closer with God. She will speak God’s Truth into your life daily.
3. Says Things in Love
This one goes hand-in-hand with the point above. If you feel that God is calling you to speak a tough truth into a friend’s life, you must say it in love. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and should be exercised throughout a Christian’s life. Speaking a hard truth in gentleness and kindness can strengthen a friendship rather than hurt it.
4. Prays for You
A true and godly friend prays with you and for you. We all go through difficult phases in life and a true friend recognizes the need for a prayerful community and asks how she can pray on your behalf. My close friends and I meet once a week to share our walk with the Lord and even share how we have struggled in our spiritual walk. Having that kind of support and accountability is essential. Sharing your prayers and struggles with your friends is liberating.
5. Is Thoughtful
A good friend thinks of others before herself (Philippians 2:3). She thinks about how she can serve others and encourage others in their walk with the Lord. She remembers birthdays and special days in her friends lives. She is intentional with her friendships and know their purpose is to honor God.
6. Is Secure in Her Identity
A good friend recognizes her immeasurable worth in Christ. She is secure in her identity as a daughter of the Most High. She also knows that is your identity as well. That’s why she doesn’t get jealous when you succeed, instead she is the one in the crowd cheering the loudest for you.
7. Is Loyal
A godly friend sticks by your side even when times are tough. She stands up for you when she needs to and always speaks positively of you. She knows that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45) and she only uses her words to build you and others up.
We have all fallen short of God’s grace and are going to make mistakes. It is crucial to be able to forgive a friend when she has wronged you. Colossians 3:13 commands, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” I am so thankful to have had godly friends who have forgiven me when I have wronged them. God calls us to forgive. Don’t confuse this with justifying an abusive friendship. Although you must forgive them, you do not have to remain in a harmful relationship.
9. Is a Peacemaker
A good friend cultivates peace in her relationships. She doesn’t revel in drama or discord. She seeks peace and harmony. Matthew 5:9 states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” She doesn’t look to create unnecessary drama and is happiest when people feel included and loved.
10. Brings Out Your Best
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Friendships are supposed to strengthen your walk with the Lord. A good friend helps you be the best version of yourself. It is also your responsibility as a godly friend to come along side your friends and encourage them.
Being a good friend can be difficult. The secret of being a good friend is to abide in Christ. Remember the purpose of friendship: to honor God. Be the kind of friend God wants you to be. Seek God with all your heart and He will give you the power to be a good friend. Love others the way that Christ loves you and you will become the best friend a girl could ask for.