What Makes a Good Friend?

~ Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 11:33 PM ~

Here's a new article I came across that I would like to share with you guys on my blog meme:

What Makes a Good Friend?
By :  Paul Schlieker

Before we examine Proverbs to discover "What makes a good friend?" let's visit Charlie Brown. In one of Charles Schulz's comic strips "good ol' Charlie Brown" pays a visit to Lucy's five-cent sidewalk psychiatric stand. Totally dejected Charlie says to his would-be counselor, "I can't help it. I feel lonely, depressed." "This is ridiculous!" Lucy insists.

"You should be ashamed of yourself, Charlie Brown! You've got the whole world to live in!" she continues. "There's beauty all around you! There are things to do. Great things to be accomplished! No man treads the earth alone! We are all together- one generation taking up where the other generation has left off!" Slowly a smile spreads across Charlie's face as Lucy's words begin to sink in. "You're right, Lucy! You're right! You've made me see things differently, I realize now that I am part of the world. I am not alone. I have friends!" Lucy quickly replies, "Name one!"

Everyone needs friends. It is the second most basic relationship in life. Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. We often experience God's love through the love of a friend. People usually don't care if they have a friend in Jesus until they see that they have a friend in us. Proverbs clearly tells us what makes a good friend - how to develop and maintain meaningful friendships.

#1. What makes a good friend? Faithfulness. Friends do not desert each other when times are bad.

Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 27:10 - Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you - better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

One of the greatest friendships in the Bible was that of David and Jonathan. When Jonathan's father, King Saul hated David enough to kill him, Jonathan protected David. (Read the story in I Samuel 20:30-33.)

#2. What makes a good friend? Keeping confidences. Friends do not gossip.

Proverbs 16:28 - A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 11:13 - A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

As a friend you'll know details and secrets of your friend's life. Friends do not gossip. Gossip is telling detrimental things about another person to someone who is not a part of the problem or the solution. Friends know when to tell someone else (such as in cases of abuse) and when to keep confidences.

#3. What makes a good friend? Kindness. Friends do not carry jokes or pranks too far.

Proverbs 26:18-19 - Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"

Fathers can help their children by teaching them the difference between a joke or harmless prank and going too far.

#4. What makes a good friend? Do not co-sign for each other. Friends encourage each other to live within their means.

Money is often the cause of bitterness between close friends.

Proverbs 6:1-5 - My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 17:18 - A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.

When you co-sign, you accept responsibility for the debts of others. When you co-sign you are enabling your friend to buy something he cannot afford. The Bible calls that "putting up security" or being "surity."

When we were first married, we decided to buy a vacuum cleaner. Even though we had the money to buy it, the salesman told us that we could delay the payment for three months if we put it on credit. We thought that was a good idea. Why pay for it now if we can wait three months? The problem was that they wouldn't qualify us for the payment plan since we didn't have a credit history. Neither of us had ever had a credit card. The salesman suggested that we ask someone to co-sign the loan. So, we asked a Christian friend. Fortunately for us, he knew the teaching of Proverbs better than we did. He showed us these verses and refused to co-sign. We were grateful for the Biblical instruction and bought the vacuum cleaner with cash. Our friend knew what makes a good friend.

It is best to encourage your friends to buy only what they can afford. When someone wants something they can't afford, encourage them to save until they can buy it. If your friend is truly in need, it is better to give them a gift rather than to loan or co-sign.

#5. What makes a good friend? Generosity. Friends do not turn away when their friend is in need.

Proverbs 3:28 - Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" - when you now have it with you.

We have all been given the same amount of time - 24 hours a day. Even with our busy lives, it amazes me how many people have time to give to their friends. When my wife was sick for a prolonged period of time many friends helped us. They brought in meals, did the ironing, ran errands and prayed for us. Many hours were given. Did they have nothing else to do? Were their days empty? I don't think so. These were acts of friendship.

#6. What makes a good friend? Forgiveness. Friends do not seek revenge.

Proverbs 24:29 - Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did."
Proverbs 20:22 - Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.

Our fallen human nature says, "Don't get mad - get even." Jesus says we must forgive - not 7 times, but 70 X 7. Other than Jesus, every friend is imperfect. We must be ready to forgive our friends, just like they have to forgive us.

#7. What makes a good friend? Bringing out the best in each other. Friends do not ask their friends to participate in sin. They look out for each other.

Proverbs 16:29 - A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good.
Proverbs 22:24 - Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

On October 24, 2008 the Daily Mail (a British newspaper), stated that a female police constable appeared in court charged with burglary and misconduct in public office after she allegedly abused her position to help her friends commit crimes.

This 26-year-old woman is said to have passed on confidential information from police computer systems to her boyfriend and others. She is also accused of helping a friend to steal thousands of pounds from a shop by listening to traffic on her police radio to warn him if police were on his tail.

This is not the behavior of true friends.

#8. What makes a good friend? Telling the truth - even if it is "bad news". Friends do not with-hold the truth in order to save the other person's feelings.

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:6 - Wounds from a friend can be trusted.
Proverbs 27:9 - The pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

A girl saw her friend doing something that was self-destructive. What would a friend do? If she confronted her or told her parents, it would certainly ruin their friendship.

A man saw a friend acting in a way that would probably destroy his friend's family. What would a friend do? In this case, he did nothing because he didn't want to lose the friendship.

True friends put the needs of a friend before their own need to keep the friendship.

We all need someone who will tell us the truth in a loving way. It is hard to grow without the help of our friends. It's never easy, but when you must tell someone the truth, use this approach: speak calmly, clearly, directly, honestly and respectfully. This is how Jesus would confront someone.

#9. What makes a good friend? Unselfishness. Friends look out for the interests of each other.

Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all time.
Proverbs 18:1 - A unfriendly man pursues selfish ends.

On August 5, 1936, at the Berlin Olympic Stadium it was a little past nine in the evening. The pole vault event had lasted longer than expected.

The final three competitors were Earl Meadows of the United States and two close friends from Japan, Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe. The bar was at 14 feet 3 1/4 inches, which Earl Meadows cleared on his second try. Nishida and Oe missed all three attempts. The two Japanese continued to jump for second and third place, but the competition ended without a conclusion when it became too dark to continue.

"Oe and I went back to the Olympic Village certain we had tied, since we both jumped identical heights," Nishida remembered. (At that time they did not have a tie breaking rule.)

The officials decided to award the silver medal to Nishida. They never fully explained their reasoning. Oe was awarded the bronze. Nishida was not happy with the decision. When they got back to Japan both Oe and Nishida decided to cut their medals in half. Then they joined half of the silver medal with half of the bronze medal for each of them. The medals were called the Medals of Eternal Friendship.

Soon after Oe was killed in World War II. His medal is on display at the National Stadium in Tokyo. What an unselfish act on the part of a friend.

At the end of the day, what makes a good friend? Practicing the golden rule. Friends treat each other as they would like to be treated.

Jesus said, "I have called you friends." John 15:15. How does Jesus treat us? That's our best example of what makes a good friend.

How can you be a good friend?


I would just like to add a bit of comment with regards to this post... ever since I got my own domain and moved out of Blogger into this self-hosted website, I've been feeling pretty good and satisfied with using this blog engine. Until 3 of you awesome bloggy friends informed me that you guys are not able to leave me a comment. Seriously and honestly I had no idea how that could happened, since I could post comments and others could do so as well. Which got me thinking maybe there are many others who have been blog hopping and not able to leave me a comment too...

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out the solutions to this. I'm definitely not giving up on this blog engine (I don't like Wordpress to be honest, so I will not even consider that) and I would just like to thank you guys for taking the trouble to inform me (via Twitter, email and even leaving me comments in my old Blogger post - which I still checked daily for my routine blog hopping activities...)

I would also like to thank my pet sister, Sheryl for telling me that my latest product review post looks weird. I didn't know this at all (sigh, sigh... my bad!) Apparently there was some code error in my product review post which if you are using Mozilla, you wouldn't even noticed anything at all, but if you are using IE, then you will see the post shown half with all the sidebars gone. Hubby helped to fix the error in the code already and everything is back to normal (I hope!)

Thank you guys, it's people like you guys that made me more determined to stay on blogging and making this blog as nice as I can so that it leaves you a good feeling after visiting here. I hope I am able to find the solutions to the commenting issues. In the meantime, thank you again, for your feedback and reading my blog.

Thank you to all of you, good friends!

* Btw, if there are any other issues or problems you encountered on this blog, I would appreciate if you could drop me a note via Twitter or an email at: imafulltimemummy (at) gmail (dot) com

Comments (7) -

Nensa Moon

Hi Jenny,
It's great, the comment setting can worked now..haha..
last few days I came here, can do nothing excpet read the post..
Thanks for the new setting..

It's a very interesting post, Jenny.
Everyone in the world must have need a friend... but there're lots of us who didnt know how be a good friend. This post will help everyone who wanna be a good friend.
Thanks for sharing. Xoxo

I'm a full-time mummy

Hi Nensa Moon!

Thank you! Am so glad to know that you're able to leave your comment now! As a backup, I've been looking for a chat program to put on the sidebar (like the one in my previous blog) but I can't use it cos of some technical mumbo jumbo security issues. Still looking for a good one...

Glad to know you like this post! Have a blessed day ahead! Smile

Karen & Gerard

Good thing you have such good friends to let you know about the comments not working.  At least it looks like they are working now.  I just had to try it to see!

I'm a full-time mummy

Hi Karen!
Yeah, I'm so thankful for all my bloggy friends, the weird thing is only 2 of them are not able to leave their comments while the rest have no problem, so without them, I would not have noticed this at all.. am still trying to figure out the solutions though...

Thanks for dropping in by the way and hope to see you back here sometime! Smile

Annie @ Mama Dweeb

This is an amazing post!  I love that you put the Bible verses in there and were not ashamed to be so bold with your faith. I am trying to be more so on my blog as well.  
Thank you so much for sharing this. I really needed to read it as I am having a few troubles being a good friends to my neighbor.

I'm a full-time mummy

Hi Annie!
Glad you like this post! As for the bible verses, most of them are from the article itself so I cannot take credit for putting it there Tong As for being bold, nah, I'm just trying my best to share God's Word Smile

Portable Sinks

Spot on.   I like the feedback you have gave, giving it some thought, I will bookmark this page.

Comments are closed