A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity - Proverbs 17:17
I have to honestly admit that finding a true Godly friend has been a little bit of a challenge in my life. Especially through cheerleading, homeschooling and surprisingly even church. However, throughout the seasons of finding them I've realized they will never be perfect and I should never expect them to be perfect. Finding a true Godly friend isn't defined as a perfect christian girl who reads his/her bible every morning and night, listens to only christian music, never lets you down or only says what you want to hear and only says positive words. It is more than that. Through high school (or even elementary), we experienced situations regarding fake friends. Some of our best friends have become even our enemies. Thankfully, God has placed a wonderful friend in my life that has such a kindred, Godly spirit and motivates me to follow God even more. She has never tempted me into doing wrong or encouraged me down the wrong path. So What does a fake friend look like and what does a real friend look like? Lets start with 10 signs of a "faux" friendship:
1. Two faced! A red flag for a faux friendship is when they constantly talk behind your back.
2. Everything is a competition.
3. They let you follow the wrong path and encourage bad decisions by letting you make mistakes.
4. They belittle you especially around other people.
5. They don't build you up or encourage you
6. Fake smiles.
7. Only friends with you when your helping them or when they need something from you.
8. They can be manipulative.
9. They can be a bad influence "Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
10. They tell you what you want to hear, not what's best for you.
God is very clear in the bible about friendships. Proverbs and Psalms gives a lot of advice.
Fake friends don't even realize they are fake. Their personality is just being unauthentic
Now that we've identified what a "faux friendship" is, lets identify 10 signs of a TRUE friendship...
1. A good influence! They don't want you to make mistakes!
2. Build you up and encourage you (even around other friends).
3. Tell you the truth even if they know if may hurt you.
4. Biblical model of friendship
5. Always there for you in the good times and in the bad.
6. They don't backstab you.
7. They are faithful to you and trust you.
8. They respect your differences.
9. They focus on what is in the inside not the outward appearance.
10. They forgive (forgive and forget).
In basic terms, a true friend loves you because they love you not for anything in return. They are accountable and encourage you with your walk with Christ. Be very careful who you surround yourself with because it is easier for a unbeliever in Christ to pull a believer down the wrong path. Do NOT be yoked with unbelievers.
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers." (Psalm 1:1)
"A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked lead them astray." (Proverbs 12:26)
"He who walk with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm." (Proverbs 13:20)
Finding a best friend who is an authentic believer in Christ is extremely difficult, especially in school. Even in church it becomes difficult...
I want to recap with these two stories in the bible that show prime examples of authentic companionship in the bible.
King David and Jonathan...
(1 Samuel 18-20)
King Saul, first king of Israel, had a son (aka Jonathan.) So apparently Jonathan was supposed to be the next heir of the throne, however, Saul sinned so deeply to the point that the kingdom could of been taken away from him. God's plan was for David to become the next king of Israel... Realizing he would never become king, Jonathan willingly trusted in God's plan and still decided to befriend David. Out of jealousy, Saul saw David as a threat to the kingdom, so he tried to kill him.😑 However, Jonathan helped David escape in the mist of risking his own life to protect David. When Saul was at his highest point of anger, Jonathan approached Saul concerning his friend. Sadly, not all stories are happy endings. Jonathan laid his life down for his own friend and left David heartbroken over his death.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13
Ruth and Naomi...
(Book of Ruth)
One of Naomi's sons married Ruth who was a Moabite. Even though they were associated thorough a marriage, they still remained great friends. Ruth didn't want to lose her friend regardless the fact that her husband died.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
- Proverbs 20:11
Those two stories really stick out to me in the bible because they illustrate sacrifice and authentic loyalty to one another. Writing this blog personally reminded me that I should work on being that friend God wants me to be. Pray to God that He will give you those friends who will encourage your walk with Christ and will never lose interest in you. However keep in mind, God lets some people in and out of you life for a reason. Remember to be the friend that God wants you to be.
If your desires in a friend are contrary to the bible, then you might want to change your perspective :)
xoxo, Alexa Rose