Coffee Chats With Char || True Friend
What does it mean to be a true friend?
First, it means to be a listener. You can’t hear others if you are always interjecting your hopes and dreams and never admiring their’s.
Second, it means being honest even when they don’t want to hear it. It means gently telling your friend and cautioning them when you see something out of character or if they would look back and wince knowing what they were about to do.
Third, it means not saying something if you know they won’t listen. I’m not reversing being honest from my last point but I know my closest friends know that sometimes what they say I won’t follow. It’s all about learning lessons and recognizing when those appear. You know that friend doesn’t fit with so and so in a relationship but unless it’s toxic or harmful, let it run its course. My closest friends have said so much sometimes and other times so little. It isn’t so much what you say but what you are there for when the going gets rough and how you can help versus saying I told you so. Grace in this instance is more than a friend trait. It’s a fruit of a Christian.
Fourth, a true friend doesn’t judge but that doesn’t mean they willingly let you get away with murder. A true friend calls you out when they know you aren’t following Christ.
Fifth, a true friend respects your values and convictions even if they don’t have those same convictions. Why? Because God may call them to do something different from you. God gives us true friends to work on loving one another + showing us that even knee deep in one another’s dirt and pain, it’s who sticks around even when they’ve seen the ugly side.
Sixth, this is the hardest. Sometimes a true friend doesn’t lash out or react how you wanted them to. Sometimes they retract + distance themselves when they know you to be in the wrong. They don’t trash your name but wait for you to realize what you’ve done. Maybe it’s not now. Maybe it’s not until much later. Maybe y’all grow separate from being apart. But a true friend will always hear you out + love you the same. Sometimes, a true friend cares more for your well being and spirit than they do of your perceived view of the friendship. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside looking in to realize whatever you've been caught up in.
Prov. 18:24 a man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Seventh, a true friend does not love by accepting everything someone says or thinks. A true friend loves by loving through whatever they go through but that doesn't mean that they don't have to disagree. True love for someone is protecting their spirit more than their feelings. It doesn't mean to scream and chew them out. It means sitting down to have the hard conversation with them. Maybe you don't like what they said. But as a true friend, you need to hear them out. A true friend gently tells someone the truth. Not berating them. Not beating the dead horse about it. But reminds them of how much they care when they see something amiss.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.
You pick out the true friends by these traits and when the going gets tough, compare against verses in the Bible. If your friend follows them, you have a true friend.
Proverbs 22: 24-25 Do not make friends with a hot tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Proverbs 14: 5-6 An honest witness does not deceive but a false witness pours out lies. The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge easily to the discerning.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.Now my question after asking these questions is this: are you this person for someone else? After you are this friend for others, you can expect others to be this kind of brother to you.