God designed humans as social creatures therefore we are taught from the first of our toddling steps how to share, and how to communicate with others. We will gravitate to those that have similar interests so we share commonalities. Generally, we do not choose whom we work with, nor do we choose whom resides next to us (unless we own that house, too). But we do choose our friends. Fair weather friends and associates are plentiful, but good friends are hard to find because our society has changed gears in recent decades toward more work time, and less play time. In years past, it was easy to find friends among those you went to church with, but today it is getting harder and harder to do so because we just do not make time for making new friends. Churches have cliques just like those in junior high and high school. That is the saddest state of affairs I’ve noticed in the past twenty years. Even joining the choir doesn’t automatically make church friends anymore. You would think nuts would like to hang out with nuts.
- A godly friend is faithful. Proverbs 18:24 A man of many friends come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, but a brother is born for distress. Proverbs 22:11 He who loves pureness of heart, grace is on his lips; the king shall be his friend. Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend, nor your father's friend, and do not go into your brother's house in the day of your calamity, for a near neighbor is better than a brother far away.
- A godly friend tells the truth even if it hurts. How can hurt be sweet? Because Proverbs 12:26 The righteous searches out with his friend, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
- A godly friend uses kind insight speaking gently. Job 16:21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his friend! Psalm 15:3 He does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor lifts up a reproach against his neighbor. Proverbs 25:20 Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. Being bold with truth can cause great harm because it matters as much how we say something as what we say.
- A godly friend helps the soul to stretch. Just as a friend consoles us in our day of trouble, a godly friend will probe into motives and our purpose expanding the thought processes for godly decisions. Proverbs 20:5 A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Let’s not forget the way iron sharpens iron so one man does to another Proverbs 27:17.
- Godly friends offer wise counsel. Fair weather friends will only look toward their own benefit and not care about what is good for the friendship or what is good for you. When a friend speaks, compare his words with biblical principles. If they match, then the counsel is wise. Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, and one's friend is sweet from the counsel of the soul. Proverbs 20:18 Purposes are established in counsel; yea, make war with wise guidance.
- Godly friends are not fools. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 13:20 He who walks with the wise shall be wise, but one associating with fools shall be broken. A friend who prays with you and for you can be counted on to pray for wise words to counsel you.
- Godly friends have self-control. Part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. We are human, but someone who talks of getting even, has a short fuse, and who crosses the courtesy line continuously is not a godly person and we are not to associate with them. Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Lest you learn his ways, And find a snare for yourself. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry; for vexation rests in the bosom of fools.
- Godly friends will shun evil. So often we find ourselves ensnared in Satan’s web simply because we are not on our guard at all times. We let worldly themes seep into our thoughts rather than pursuing all things that are noble, good, righteous, and the like as Paul adjures. Proverbs 24:1-2 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble.
The friend who is steadfast during times of rejoicing as well as in times of grief is the same one who will stand fast in times of need. There is great blessing in being this kind of friend.
Psalm 15:1 A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall live in Your holy mountain? 2 He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. 3 He does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor lifts up a reproach against his neighbor. 4 In his eyes, the reprobate has been despised, but he honors those who fear Jehovah: He has sworn to his hurt, and will not change it. 5 He has not given his silver at interest; nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent; he who does these things shall not be shaken forever.
Jesus sent us the Comforter, our paraklētos, the Holy Spirit who will always walk beside us, encouraging us, convicting us of sin before we ever put hand or foot to the sin. When the Holy Spirit recognizes Himself in another, you will feel it deep inside and you just know this person is worthy of your trust. Are you that kind of person?