However, there is more to being a friend than simply clicking "add friend" links on Facebook. What do you look for in a friend? How can you be a good friend? What does it take to forge a lasting friendship?
It is important that we don’t take our friends for granted and know what we need to do in order to maintain a healthy friendship in which we honor not only our friends, but Him who brought them into our lives as well. There are many verses in the Bible that instruct us on how to achieve this and we have gathered a few of them here in this post. Continue reading to find out how you can be a good friend in Jehovah's eyes.
1. Good friends must be wisely chosen
Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous one searches out his pastures,
But the course of the wicked leads them astray.”
- The first step toward having an honest friendship grounded in your relationship with Jehovah is to choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with people who have the same godly fear that you do, that you may not be influenced to drift away from the Truth.
2. Good friends don’t gossip
Proverbs 16:28: “A troublemaker causes dissension,
And a slanderer separates close friends.”
- Gossip and slander are not only sins against God, they have many earthly repercussions as well. Talking behind a friend’s back is a quick way to ruin a friendship.
3. Good friends are loyal
Proverbs 17:17: “A true friend shows love at all times,
And is a brother who is born for times of distress.”
- Friends share many good times together, but it is important to remember that friendship is not always easy and convenient. As a true friend, be there to support others as they go through trials and hardships. If someone you care about is going through a difficult time, send them a scriptural greeting card to show you care.
4. Good friends speak the truth
Proverbs 27: 5, 6: “Open reproof is better than concealed love.
The wounds inflicted by a friend are faithful,
But an enemy’s kisses are plentiful.”
- Being a friend means telling the truth, even when it’s not a pleasant one. If your friend is doing something wrong or something to upset you, be honest and open about it, lest you grow bitter and only pretend to be a friend on the surface.
5. Good friends offer great advice
Proverbs 27:9: “Oil and incense make the heart rejoice;
So does sweet friendship springing from sincere counsel.”
- Give your friends honest and sound advice that is both in their interest and in accordance with God's will.
6. Good friends sharpen one another
Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens his friend.”
- By holding one another accountable to the God's Word, friends can help one another grow in faith and become better Jehovah’s Witnesses.
7. Good friends laugh and cry with their friends
Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”
- Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding ceremony and He cried when Lazarus died. Follow this example by being happy for those who are happy, and sharing in their sorrow when they are sad.
8. To love others you must also love yourself
Mark 12:31: “The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
- Loving your neighbor as you love yourself is second in importance only to Loving God with everything you have. Again, there is no better example of one who put others first than Jesus himself.
9. Good friends know boundaries
Proverbs 25:17: “Rarely set foot in your neighbor’s house,
So that he does not get tired of you and hate you.”
- As a friend, we must not be selfish with other people’s time. Our friends have families, jobs and many other responsibilities to attend to and we must be respectful of that, lest we become more of a burden than a cause for joy.
10. Good friends are willing to sacrifice
John 15:13: “No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.”
- This was spoken by Jesus Himself, who followed through with His words. Though most of us, thankfully, will need not literally sacrifice our lives, what about all the little sacrifices we can make?
To summarize, don’t gossip or be envious of a friend’s happiness. Be honest and be there for your friends through the good times and the bad. If you ever find that your friendship is weak and you are not sure how to fix it, refer to the Bible verses above, and you will most likely find the solution. If not, prayer always helps. If one of your close friends could use a reminder that they’ll always have someone to lean on in you, let them know it.
Comment and tell us why your best friend is your best friend!