Sometimes it is hard to know who your friends really are. You think someone has your back and then when circumstances get tough, they disappear. Who do you trust? Who are your true friends? A better question- what qualities define true friendship? Here is a short list-
1- A true friend runs to your side when times get hard. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” is how it is described in Proverbs 17. When the going gets tough, great friends don't even wait for you to call. They come.
2- Friends tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. “Wounds from a friend can be trusted,” says the proverb, and it is true. Years ago a colleague called me at home and told me that my aggressive attitude was offending some of the other doctors. He encouraged me that a softer approach would serve me better. He was right and in correcting me he showed he was a friend.
3- True friends are committed to the friendship. Neither time nor circumstances should diminish the bond, which is why the Proverb says we should not forsake our friend or the friend of our father. I think of Daryl, a friend of 40 years. We have laughed together, played together and prayed together,even hurt one another, but we have never quit.
4- True friends know when to keep their mouth shut. “Gossip separates close friends.” says Proverbs 16:28, and boy does it. The writer expounds on the principle in the next chapter saying “He who covers over an offense promotes love.” Close friends know how to hurt us. True friends protect us.
What kind of friend are you? I know I can do better!
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