Friendship: 10 Thoughts on True Friendship

“Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me.” 1 Samuel 20:42 NIV

This is part one of my 3-part series on friendship.

photo: Raye Wortel

From the moment we stepped into the neighborhood sandbox with our toddler toes, and diapered bottoms, we have sought the gift of friendship.


And ever since, we’ve experienced the messy and the joyful, the heartbreaking and the heartwarming conditions of these relationships.


God created us to be creatures of companionship, and yet so many of us have felt empty and spent in our friendships.


I became intrigued with the idea of true friendship when I went through the darkest and most severe years of my life with people I only knew well, but those whom I could not call true friends.


So, what is true friendship, and what makes it different from the multitude of friendly interactions we have with people everyday?


First, I think we have to look at ourselves. Do we have the heart of a true friend?


I believe it is far better to allow God to cultivate the characteristics of true friendship within us before we ask him to send us someone who already possesses them. For we may not have the ability to recognize such a gift in the midst of our ignorance.


So, here are 10 characteristics I believe make a true friend (in no particular order):


1. Loyalty
Someone who is willing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with another in the rush of life’s storms. Sometimes silent, sometimes not, but steadfast always.


2. Selfless
Someone who rejoices and relinquishes beyond their own concerns.


3. Encourages
Someone who uses word and deed to lift up, and push on those who’s strength is failing.


4. Self-Controlled
Someone who is thoughtful and responsible with their emotions and actions.


5. Loves
Someone who demonstrates enduring patience, kindness, and forgiveness solely for the benefit of another.


6. Trustworthy
Someone who can learn the deepest secret, or the darkest promise and not feel compelled to share it – no matter the gain.


7. Strength
Someone who faces the winds of life with a swaying and bending, but never a yielding.


8. Godliness
Someone who loves, knows, acknowledges, lives, depends on, and thanks the One who created them.


9. Truthfulness
Someone who is honest enough to say the hard things with no other motivation than to make the other a better person.


10. Wisdom
Someone who seeks, learns, and uses truth to counsel and advise when called upon.


Sound impossible?  Only if we expect perfection.  That’s the beauty of true friendship, it flourishes despite our failings or flawlessness!


What makes a true friend for you? Have you been blessed by a true friend? I would love to know your experiences.


Next week’s message: Friendship: When Friendships Fail

7 Replies

  1. Lori West

    This message was a good reminder for me to look inward and see if I’m being a good friend to others. I have just a few close friends and I wonder if they would count me as true friend.

  2. Jackie Wortel

    Looking forward to parts one and two! I’ve always told my children it’s the quality of your friends not the quantity that matters. I’ve been blessed to have a small handful myself. The unconditional love and wise council of a young woman who started as a dear friend and became a beloved sister-in-law , is one I cherish most! Love you my friend!

    1. You have made me cry! I love you dearly, and cherish you as MY beloved friend and sister. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  3. Monica Rojas

    Wow!!! I’m so thankful that God put you in your heart to write about friendship!!! I’m so happy to know all of you thru WOF!! Is been a blessing all the way until now!! Thank you so much and God keep HIS blessings upon you!! Love and respect, Monica Rojas

    1. Thank you so much Monica!

  4. Lori Perez

    Raye, Thank you so much for writing about Friendship. I have a wonderful Friend that through many things we have been friends. She is the one who brought me to the Lord. she has been there through all my sorrows and pains and also all the happy times. I am truly blessed to have her as a friend. Her name is Norma.
    I also have another wonderful friend that has been there all the time. she has given me advise on so many things. I call her up just to hear her voice because it makes me feel better when I am down. she has been there from the beginning and I know that she will be there until the end time on earth and also in Heaven. she is my mom. I love both of these friends very much and don’t know what I would do without them.

    1. How wonderfully blessed you are to have such precious friends! Thank you for sharing.

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