These last few weeks Sherri and I have had the chance to spend some time with a number of good friends.

We have been reflecting on what it takes to be a good friend. Here’s where we’re at in our thinking…

  • Honesty – Will you tell me the truth? The best gift that someone can give me is honest affirmation (don’t patronize me) and honest correction. (For more on this idea read this post). Not everyone has the “right” to speak into my life this way. This right is earned by the demonstration of the second characteristic…
  • Love – Will you love me when I’m at the top of my game? Will you love me when I’m in a slump? Love that transcends the “seasons” of life is the “stuff” that genuine friendship is made of! Some people call this “unconditional love.”
  • Service – Will you help me? Friends help one another. These last few weeks we’ve been blessed by our friends who have helped with meals, prep for the yard sale, words of encouragement, babysitting, etc. To all of you, we are grateful to have friends like you. Thank you for your help.
  • Loyalty – Will you “stick it out” with me? Will you defend me when I’m being attacked? Will you stick up for me when I’m not there? A friend is someone who would not have to change the conversation when you walk up.
  • Receiving – Will you receive from me? A friendship is only as strong as the neediest friend. If you’re always helping me but I do not help you, in time you will grow weary of me! BUT when you help me, and allow me to help you we strengthen one another and the relationship grows healthier and stronger as a result.

That’s where we’re at in our thinking about friends right now.

How about you? What are the qualities you seek in a friendship?