What are the ingredients that go into making a good friend? Friendship is a two-way street. You and I need friends and you and I need to be a good friend. How does one identify a good friend, what are the characteristics that make a person a good friend? Let’s look at a few of these characteristics and attributes:
- Loyal. Our good friends are the ones who have remained steadfast and supportive. This can only be proven over time. Our good friends are the ones who stay with us even when others do not.
- Kind. This is one ingredient that separates acquaintances from true friends. A kind friend is like a refuge from the storms of life.
- Trustworthy. A good friend is someone you can count on. Over time they have proven to be people of trust. You can confide in them and count on them when times are tough.
- Truthful. A good friend doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear, they will tell you what you need to hear. It is far easier to accept the truthful evaluation of a loyal friend than the continual criticism from a cynical critic. We need to hear the truth in order to improve and grow. You should be grateful if you have a truth-telling friend!
- Positive. There is plenty of negativity in the world today. I need a good friend to help me see the positive even in negative circumstances. A positive friend helps me to maintain a positive equilibrium in shaky times. A positive friend at times will have to deliver heavy news to us, but they help us immediately to work our way through the situation and find the lesson to be learned.
- Confidential. There are times we need someone to confide in, we have all been burned by someone we confided in who then went and told others and left us feeling betrayed. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a good friend is that of confidentiality.
- Entertaining. A good friend is one you can laugh with and share good conversation. By default, a good friend is someone that you want to be around.
- Caring. A friend is someone who cares about you. They care what happens to you and they root for and believe in you. Next, to family, we count on our friends to care and to care deeply.
- Adaptable. One thing that I never hear discussed in regard to friendships is that we all change and grow. At times we may outgrow a certain group of friends, think Junior High friends! To remain a good friend one must learn to adapt and adjust. A good friend is one who grows and changes and yet the friendship remains.
- Accepting. This person knows we are not perfect and loves us anyway. They accept us, they know the good and the bad and they accept us and love us and continue to believe in us.
The context has been one of evaluating our friends in light of the above list. For a moment examine yourself with this list and ask yourself: “am I this kind of a friend?” “Am I a good friend?” “Do these characteristics define me as a friend?”
The writer of the Proverbs makes the following statement: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” This pretty well sums up a good friend…a friend loves at all times. Not just when it is easy to love, but a true friend loves even when we are in a tough place in our lives. Not only do we need a good friend, all of us need to be a good friend.