The Bible tells us what types of people we should have near us, and the types we should avoid, but what about our FRIENDSHIPS?
The Book of Proverbs chapter 27 tells us that Iron sharpens Iron but who/what is sharpening you? And who are you sharpening, if anything at all??
Here are two types of Friends you need to look out for:
1.The One Who Sticks Closer Than A Brother
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18 v 24
There are some friends in life who are family. You just can’t classify them as mere friends, as they have passed the threshold into actual brother/sister and are now in ‘blood’ territory. And you know when you have one – the friend you can confide in, rely on, trust completely. The one who can give you real talk, without fear of offence. The one who has seen you cry and knows how to make you laugh. The one who has proven him/herself to be on your side, regardless of the situation, who isn’t afraid to sit you down and give you a correction in love as and when the need arises….!
PS – Note the first section of this verse – no one is born with a swathe of friends, fans and admirers….you have to be friendly…and if you don’t put in the action, well boyyyy….
2. The One Who Tells You The Truth, No Matter What
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27 v 6
We all need friends who will tell us the truth, regardless of the subject matter.
Now with the exception of the people who live life in a little ‘self’ bubble, for most of us, we admire honesty, and see truthfulness as a key characteristic in potential friends.
So whatever our truth may be, we want to know that our friends are not ashamed to be honest with us, and would “give it to us straight” even if it is unpleasant to hear/receive.
This can be on everything from hair, make up and other physical/superficial things to talking to us about our faith, or relationships and even our own character flaws.
Now personally, as much as I admire and appreciate an honest friend, my principle in life is that no one should tell me something about myself that I haven’t first told myself – and that relates to both compliments ad complaints.
I make a habit of assessing myself, my character, my growth, my behaviour and my attitude. If there is something unsavoury about my personality, I do my best to deal with it before someone else recommends I do so.
And I would recommend this approach to everyone reading. Don’t wait for a friend to pull you up – pull yourself up!
And not out of some misplaced pride, but simply as part of the self examination that the Apostle Paul encourages us to do in the final chapter of 2 Corinthians.
As much as we desire good and faithful friends, let us first exhibit the traits we seek in others. Be good, kind, faithful, honest and reliable to yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to arrive before you start recognising what a good friend looks like – live it, walk it, own it. The day you begin you be a good friend to yourself, you will be a great friend to others…