What Does True Friendship Look Like?

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

What does true friendship look like? How do we know if someone is a friend? How can we treat others as friends?

Sometimes our hopes and expectations for those around us leave us feeling empty. The Bible helps to shape our expectations about what a friendship should look like, what we can hope for in a friend, and what we should do when we are hurt by our friends.

A few marks of true friendship are:

  • Vulnerability: Are you so sure of God’s love for you that you’re free to tell on yourself, to ask for help, and to share what’s on your heart, to be your real self?
  • Commitment: Are you actively participating in reaching out and caring for your friend?
  • Fellowship: Does your friendship bring encouragement and fun? Does it feel like getting a breath of fresh air when you’re around each other?
  • Growth: Do you help each other to grow in who you are and who you will be? Friendships grow and change–they don’t always look the same.
  • Love the one you’re with: Are you open to who God has put around you? God places people in and out of our lives, and much of friendship is BEING a friend, not FEELING befriended.
  • Conflict: Are you willing to tell the truth and to speak the truth in love? Are you willing to ask forgiveness when you have done wrong?

If you find some of these marks in a friend, be thankful and rejoice! A good friend is a gift from God and not something to take lightly.

In this world, our closest friends are treasures, but they will also disappoint us. Our expectations will not always be met, and we can’t always make our friends happy. When we are disappointed (and we will be), we can be thankful.

In this place of hurt, we remember that Jesus, who knows us better than anyone else, will never disappoint us or abandon us. He is the perfect example of a friend, one who loves us with all that he is. He delights in us and enjoys us. He isn’t just our friend because he has to be, but because he appreciates who we are in the deepest places of our being.

Because Jesus has called us his friends, we are freed up to risk friendship with others. Our friendship with Jesus remains secure. . . . sealed with the promise of his blood.

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