5 Qualities I Appreciate in a “Best Friend”

friends always

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

So Jim Rohn would say.

If you could stand back and take a quick analysis of your life, you are very much like the people whose voices most resonate in your ears, and whose thoughts most regularly traverse your mind.

So, who are the people you are allowing most to impact your world? 

Who are you being shaped by?

My best friendships are characterized by the following 5 qualities:

Integrity

{I Will Speak Truth to You}

In the Gospel accounts alone, there are over 70 instances of Jesus stating: I tell you the truth.

Truthfulness is intrinsic to Christ’s nature.   In fact Hebrews 6 states that truth is such an integral part of Christ’s character that it is impossible for God to lie.  We should find ourselves wanting to model this type of integrity.  And we should draw comfort from those who assess with honesty, while buffered by a filter of grace.  Friends willing to speak the truth will walk with you all the way.  They will not abandon you on the side of the road of conflict.  They know that honesty promotes clarity.  And clarity draws a friendship deeper and closer.

Grace

{I Will Give the Benefit of the Doubt to You}

A forum of writers I am part of, was recently discussing what it looks like to “give grace” to one another.  A simple definition of grace is unmerited favor.  When considered through the lens of the Gospel, we have been given more grace than we deserve, and more mercy than we can measure.

Christ has proclaimed us debt-free at the Cross.

Friends who dispense grace in the easy rhythm of give-and-take and do not collect relational debt, are the women I joyfully link arms with.  Grace makes a friendship safe.

friend loves

 

Belief

{I Will Be Your Cheer-Leader}

One of my best friends has the uncanny ability to call on the worst of days and say: I am proud of you.  Scripture applauds the practice of joyful belief in one another.  Hebrews urges us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Similarly, Susan Hunt in her book Spiritual Mothering,  has wisely noted that encouraging speech is often the means by which we are propelled into good deeds.

Simply put, encouragement motivates.  It makes us step up in confidence and attempt things we would not otherwise, because somebody believed we could.

Loyalty

{I Will Stick By You}

Conflict is inevitable.  Friendship is a choice to either stick in it, or to walk away when the going gets tough.  Best friends become “best” because they respond to conflict with understanding and forbearance.  They pull back from dispensing justice for an offense, and instead err on the side of mercy.  Best friendships are forged through the motion of always coming back.  They make it a practice to let love cover over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). 

Laughter

{I Will Laugh At, and With You}

Ecclesiastes 3:4 makes it clear that just as there is time to weep, there is also time to laugh.  Adult life is a serious business.  Best friends realize and respect the soberness of a disciplined life, but also have an ability to pull out of that place into an atmosphere of fun.  Laughter is good medicine, and best friends know when the time is ripe to feed a sense of humor.  Solid friendships are borne when there is an agreement on style of humor, and an ability to laugh at one another’s mishaps.

The Mayo Clinic actually lists lowered tension, boosted immunity and even relief from pain, as some of the benefits of breaking down and laughing.

laughter friends

Our friends are often-times the ones who buffer and insulate us from life’s difficulties.  So, we need to choose them well.  And  if we speak honestly and laugh openly together, we will likely even find ourselves with an overall higher life satisfaction.  

Win-win!

Who are the greatest influencers in your life?

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For more on friendship, I wrote about God’s faithfulness when friends move away, here.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “5 Qualities I Appreciate in a “Best Friend”

  1. This gives me a lot to think about…I don’t really sit back to think much about what the most important qualities are to me in friendship! I LOVE that picture of Will and Amelia!

  2. Great great great! As I was reading I already know who I am going to email this too. It’s also challenging to me, because am I this kind of friend to anyone? Definitely something to think over and work on. Thank you!

  3. Great message!! I don’t know what I would do without my friends. My best friend and I have been friends over 60 years. I love her like a sister and she knows me better than my sisters. May God Bless you and keep writing For Your Tomorrow. It is a great daily read.

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