In the frenzy of followers, fans, and frenemies, godly friends are unfortunately a dying breed. With the rise of technology, interpersonal relationships are pushed to the “awkward” categories of life. Today, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable with a simple face-to-face conversation without a smart gadget in hand.
I don’t desire for my friendships to be uncomfortable. I long for human interaction and the introvert in me reaches out for community and enriching fellowship.
I recently dove into the Bible to see what it had to say on the topic of friendship. I was surprised to see that God has A LOT to say on the topic of friendship. In what I think is the most practical book of the Bible, the Book of Proverbs, I mapped out three characteristics of a godly friend.
A godly friend is one that loves continually
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs chapter 17, verse 17).
King Solomon pens that a friend loves at ALL times. This is a friend that loves at all seasons of life. They stick with you in seasons of plenty and stay close in seasons of physical and spiritual drought. This friend will undergo the God-prepared seasons of trial and share their findings with those around them.
My best friend, Lucas Patton, is that guy. There’s hasn’t been a phone call that I’ve made that has not been answered or returned in a timely manner. Though Lucas lives nine hours away from me, I know that he is a quick text or call away, and ready to impart godly wisdom.
A godly friend gives loving rebuke
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of the enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs chapter 27, verses 5 and 6).
A godly friend is willing to risk the friendship for the sarke of Christ-likeness. These are friends that is not afraid to hurt your feelings.
I’m so thankful for my friends who have called out and corrected my blindspots. I appreciate their heart in “wounding” me for the sake of character growth. These conversations are hard to digest, but they are eternally profitable.
A godly friend challenges you
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs chapter 27, verse 17).
This process of sharpening a friend isn’t pleasant but it is to be prized. These are the friends that don’t let you skate through the important things of life. These are the friends that are more concerned about your personal sanctification over your personal comfort.
Be a godly friend
I’m thankful that the above characteristics are examples of Jesus’ friendship towards you and me. Jesus loves at all times. Jesus gives loving rebuke. Jesus challenges you.
I know that it’s hard to reach out and be this kind of friend. We want to be pursued. I encourage you dear reader, step out of your comfort zone and be this type of friend to someone. Be the one to bring Christ into the picture. God is with you. He calls you “Friend.”
Aaron serves in Murrieta, CA and is a pastor at Cross Culture Murrieta, a teacher at Calvary Chapel Bible College, and is also the director of On The Edge.
Aaron Sabio’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aaron-sabio.html