Do you want to have good friends? Are you looking for friends who will encourage you, pray for you, and stand by you in trials? If so, you need to start by being a godly friend. It takes hard work and dedication, but you can do it!
“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
One of the greatest tests of a true friend is their faithfulness. When your friend goes through a trial, are you there for them? Does God hear your voice pleading for them in prayer? Are you the kind of friend who shows up on their doorstep with food? Or do you walk away in search of more convenient friends? Don’t be a fair-weather friend who disappears when hard times come. Instead, be faithful to your friends.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
We all make mistakes. And, the better you know someone, the more likely they will sin against you. How should you respond when your friend breaks a commitment? Or what should you say when they hurt your feelings?
According to God’s Word, you should forgive them…just as God forgave you. Their sins against you are nothing compared to your sins against God. With God’s help, you can forgive them! Don’t let unforgiveness break up your friendships.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Have you ever had a godly friend give you advice? Or maybe point out something you were doing wrong? One of the biggest benefits of Christian friends is that they can point out blind spots. Maybe you didn’t even realize you had a problem with anger…but they gently told you about it. Or maybe they challenged you to be more faithful in your Bible reading.
To be a godly friend, you’ll need to give sharpening advice sometimes. Make sure you always pray for God’s wisdom and the right words. Seek to speak the truth in love, and show them that you care. At the local church’s prison ministry, this is how we want to give advice.
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”
Nothing stings quite as much as having a backstabbing friend—someone who speaks sweetly to your face but gossips about you to others. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you know how bad it feels. When a person starts talking negatively about someone else, it can be hard to know what to say. You can simply say, “Let’s not talk about _____ when he’s not here to defend himself.” That will help discourage others from backstabbing people. And make sure that you’re not speaking evil of others, either.
“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Some burdens are too heavy for one person to bear alone. To be a godly friend, be sensitive to your friend’s burdens. Does she seem distracted, sad, or exhausted? You can offer a listening ear and maybe even a shoulder to cry on. Your friend may need godly advice, or she may just need words of comfort and reassurance.
Look for practical ways to help, as well. When you help carry a friend’s burden, you are loving your neighbour as yourself. And God will reward you for it! At the local church’s prison ministry, we seek to help lift burdens, too.
Which of these tips do you most need to work on? And what habits of a godly friend would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!
For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org