It seems that friendship these days is adding someone on Facebook. The moment where you receive a friendship notification. People having 1,567 friends or 300 friends on Facebook. Are all those people really your friends? Probably by the time you finish this article, and hopefully have a new sense of friendship, you might be left with one or two true friends. Our society, especially the young, throw “He or she is my friend” around a bit too much. We forget the true meaning of friendship. A true friend is not the person who can keep your secret that you had sex with some guy or girl. A true friend is not someone who you can gossip with, and talk trash about some guy or girl at school. Those are not true friends. That is not friendship. True friendship illustrated below:
God loves us unconditionally. He loves us no matter what we do – our merit does not make God loves us. He just loves us. Whether we do something bad or good, God is still showing us love. That quality that God has–is what a friend should have with you. With that being said, this question comes to mind: All the people you consider a friend, do they love you unconditionally? Would they love you no matter what? Ask yourself that.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved“- Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
I’m not talking about someone coming to you and showing you sympathy, and acting like they understand what you’re going through. No, I’m talking about that person who sees you troubled, and acts in that moment of compassion. He or she does whatever it takes to make you feel better. They want to unconditionally do something to help you. They go beyond just understanding your situation and saying “I know how you feel.” They act in compassion. That’s a quality that a true friend should have. The same question I asked above: All the people you consider a friend, would they show you this type of compassion? Ask yourself that.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
“In your entire life, you can probably count your true friends on one hand. Maybe even on one finger. Those are the friends you need to cherish, and I wouldn’t trade one of them for a hundred of the other kind. I’d rather be completely alone than with a bunch of people who aren’t real. People who are just passing time.” – Unknown
My dad always told me when crap hits the fan, you’ll know who your true friends are. Why is that? Well, simple, because true friends are faithful to the friendship no matter what. Nothing can separate you guys. You’ll be friends forever. That quote illustrates a fundamental truth, that is, you’ll count your true friends with one hand. Not everyone you consider a friend will by your side forever, only a true friend will faithfully to do that. Once again, same question: All the people you consider a friend, would they stick by your side until death? Ask yourself that.
Honesty is crucial within a friendship. A true friend will be honest with you. A true friend will tell you something in the form of black and white, not gray. No sugar-coating. I’m honest with my friends. Let’s say one my friends decides to audition for American Idol, and he or she has a horrible voice, I’ll tell them straight up, “To be honest, I don’t think that’s great idea, because you can’t sing. You don’t have a great singing voice.” A true friend will be honest enough to tell you that. They’ll tell you the truth, because they don’t want you to humiliate yourself on national television. There is nothing wrong with honesty, and true friend knows that. And you know the question I’m going to ask, so I won’t repeat it. Ask yourself that question though. (Colossians 3:9 NIV)
A true friend will forgive you when you have done her or him wrong. Will all your supposed friends forgive you?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
A true friend will be charitable, and help you in times of need. He or she will act randomly in act in kindness on your behalf. (Matthew 22:39 NIV)
While there could be a lot more traits out there that a true friend has, I believe these six are crucial to determine who your true friends are. Friendship is important, and precious. That is why we should not take away its value by overusing “He or She is my friend.” Before you say that, make sure your bond with that person has these qualities. True friendship is not created by adding someone on Facebook or meeting someone and calling him or her friend; no, it’s having those qualities that makes true friendship between two people.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” – Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)