The top five characteristics of a good friendship

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?

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13 thoughts on “The top five characteristics of a good friendship

  1. Wow. I never thought about all of this so deeply as I do now. With your “leaving” so close to happening, all of this has been swirling around me.

    The words you spoke in your blog are exactly correct, and are why you and I have become closer than brothers. Friendships grow because of the tying together of each of your 5 concepts…and the strength of the bond is much greater than the sum of the 5 concepts taken separately. It all combines to create a life-long committment to eachother to do life together.

    We made that committment years ago, and hopefully, we will never break it.

    I told you one time that I’d pick you up and carry you across 5 miles of glass barefooted if that’s what it took to care for you and ready you for the next step in God’s plan, and my offer still holds. You are special. You are God’s chosen, annointed one to reach people for Him.

    Love you, man.

  2. Trust is number one. Trust develops over time. That would be number two. Time spent with each other brings you from superficial to intimate. That occurs with honesty and openness, which is Number three. It is a give and take over the course of time and consistency in action that develops into a deep friendship. It is a true gift when people obtain this.
    I am thankful for the friends I have as well.

  3. You Petersons have a draw about you that make people WANT you to succeed, and that can only be God, my friend. Even now, if you called “you-know-who” and told him you were in trouble, I would be willing to bet the farm that he would be there, instantly.

    As for me, I’m not so keen about the broken glass that Jeff is talking about, but I surely would do the barefoot part! :)

    LOVE TO ALL!

  4. I was in a new study group with some ladies on Wednesday. When it came time for prayer requests all of us agreed that we needed genuine friendship. I used to think I was one of only a few to struggle to invest myself. Now I’m beginning to realize that it is more common than I thought, I suspect especially in this season of life.

    Finding friends who genuinely embrace you not only for your strengths, but also allow you to be open and honest about your weaknesses and struggles, is a challenge. I’m a very serious, intense, always thinking person. I’m not too good at pretending, so I may tend to scare people off with my honesty. Perhaps I could beat myself up over it, but now I’m beginning to understand being who God made me will eventually attract the real thing. The rest will be scared off…actually that’s not such a bad thing in the long run.

    When I was a little girl it used to hurt me when people didn’t like me. I just wanted to be friends with everyone. While I still try very hard to be kind, inclusive, and friendly, it’s not possible to be friends with everyone. You can only be a GOOD friend to a few because it does take time. I used to think small groups were clicky, but now I see the need for it. The group dynamic is not the same when there’s 20 compared to 5.

    And then there’s chemistry and that comes from God and his timing. You can be friendly to just about anyone, but that natural, not forced, chemistry is necessary.

  5. Pingback: The Five Most Viewed Posts of the Month « Paul Peterson

  6. Pingback: A friend « paulpetersonlive.com

  7. A good friend is always near when neeeded.
    A good friend always hold you accountable.
    A good friend stands beside you in everything you do.
    A good friend is a blessing from God.
    A good friend is very hard to let go of when God calls them home.
    Thats why I have Jesus as my BEST friend, He is always there,24-7.

    A good friend and mentor once told me to be ready for anything, especially in ministry,To preach, pray or die in a moments notice, and with a friend like Jesus we can always be prepared.

  8. A good friend should be Loving, Caring. A good friend should stand behind us in worst situations also.
    Friendship should not be only Laughing, enjoying.
    Therefore, A good friend should be trust able, share his/her ideas.
    Also one of the important thing about good friend is , he/she not to hurt his friend by any means.

    Therefore I have one message to all of you, Please read it once.

    A good friend is not easy to obtain,
    But once gained, it’s difficult to maintain,
    And once lost, it can never be regained !!
    :
    :
    :
    :
    So do not let your true friend to go…

  9. one thing i discovered is that today very few people have the true friendship. very mony are friends but findiing a genuine friend it is hard.

    when I was a young girl I lacked the genuine love from my parents so I grew up thinking that I could not be loved

    I looked in my life, I could not find some one who could be caring, loving, peudons, whom i could share secrets in confidence, who can be there for you in times of truoble or not.

    BUT one thing I know is that a true friend is from God and should atleast poses the following charactoristics;
    1. A friend has seen you at your worst and loves you even you ever so.
    2. You can phone a friend even in the middle of the night.
    3. A friend is drawn to you not for whatt you are but who you are.
    4. A friend shares your sense of humour provides nourishment inspiration for the mind.
    5. And the most important thing is that a friend helps you to grow spiritualy

    A friend monitors you and always ready for anything either positive or negative. always checks on you, communicates

    there is a friend like JESUS who realy is posesing all the charactoristics try Him as l also did

  10. -love
    -loyalty
    -trustworthy
    -honesty
    -can tell instantly when something is wrong
    I think that the last one is one of the most important because if your freind cant tell but you can then its just a one sided friendship because that mean that you know him/her more then she/he knows you and thats not good at all
    so make sure that you so called friend has that last inportant charecter trait

  11. I think all what have u said is important but the most important character is LOVE couz when there is love honesty , loyality and other good characters will come couz when a friend truly loves u he will never betray , will be always loyal ,will be always beside u and i thank god couz i have a friend whom without her i won’t ever knw the feeling f having a true friend beside u :)

  12. i think honesty is the most important in friendship. where there is honest there is love.friends should be honest to make sure their relation last for long.:)

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