How To Be A Friend Prov 17:17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Prov 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times.” Well, there are a lot of things that can happen to a man in his lifetime and so it takes a really good friend to be able to love him at all times. Your friend might become very ill and need you by his side, he might go through a financial crisis and need you to give him some money, he might make a dumb decision with terrible consequences and need you to support him as he recovers himself, or he might do something wonderful and need a good friend to share it with. You never know. The key is to be a friend and so this broadcast teaches you how to be a friend.
To be a good friend you need to:
Be yourself – if you find that you must put on a front in order to impress the person you are attempting to befriend, you will never be a good friend – there will always be a stiffness in your presence that will be uncomfortable to him and to you – I have known a few of these guys that have tried too hard and I’m never comfortable around them – years ago, I can remember trying to be something I’m not and it just never worked – you see this kind of thing many times in politics, pulpits and businesses – don’t be two-faced if you want to be a friend – if you can’t be a friend just the way you are, you can’t be a friend.
Be candid – that is you need to be honest – you cannot flatter and you cannot lie – tell the truth all the time, even when it hurts – if you are truthful about everything you say you can rest well at night – if you have to fake your responses and always worry about how a thing you say is going to be viewed or received, you will never be able to build a strong friendship – you need to be able to speak your mind candidly.
Be supportive – one of the great things about being a friend is that you are given opportunities from time to time to encourage your friend when he is down – Jonathan encouraged David when Saul was out to kill him – sometimes your friend will just need to know that he has a friend – he has to know that he can count on you – that knowledge alone can encourage him – you need to bring out the best in your friend.
Be understanding – one of the greatest things you can do for your friend is listen – by being a good “ear” for him you allow him to pour out his heart and sort out his thoughts – often he will resolve his own conflicts and make up his own mind just because you cared enough to sit and listen to him sort everything out – you probably won’t even need to speak or give counsel at times like that – and remember your friend is not perfect.
Be trustworthy – relationships are built on trust – it takes years to build the level of trust that good friends enjoy and it can take about fifteen seconds to break it – your mind and mouth should be like a vault so that your friend can confide in you and know for sure that you will never repeat what he has said – never divulge information that you receive in confidence – and never double-cross your friend – he should be able to count on you better than he can count on himself.
Be steadfast – good friendships are going to be tested – you are going to eventually go through something hard with your friend – there will be some misunderstanding, some strain in the friendship – and you must make it through the rough spot – you will find the test to be an occasion that strengthens your friendship – but at the time the trial may appear to be sent to destroy it – don’t forsake a good friend in times of testing – grow closer – you’re going to need each other on another day.
Be lighthearted – relax and don’t take yourself so seriously – in good friendships there is a lot of bantering – learn to take it and laugh at yourself – friends that are close know each other well enough to kid around and never get their feelings hurt – it’s hard to be friends with an overly sensitive person because the other person is always worried about saying something that might offend – you cannot be easily offended and ever hope to be a good friend – you need to lighten up.
Be there – I can remember sitting for several hours with a pastor friend who was grieving over the death of a close missionary’s daughter – I never said a word – I didn’t have to – just being there with him right after he received the news of her death was enough – listen, there is nothing like being in the same room with a friend when he needs someone to be there – the idea that you can do everything with a phone and a computer these days is ludicrous – how much more effective you would be with your neighbors if you would go see them and spend some time with them – as the saying goes, you have to “be there” for your friends.
Conclusion: These are a few pointers on how to be a good friend – if you will concentrate some effort on being a good friend you will have some good friends.