Characteristics of a Good Friend according to the Bible

Characteristics of a Good Friend according to the Bible

Friends, especially best friends, are an integral part of our lives, and having good friends can be a blessing. The Bible is full of advice on friendship that can help us form and maintain healthy relationships with others. Here are some characteristics of a good friend according to the Bible. By following these guidelines, we can nurture meaningful friendships that bring joy into our lives and reflect God’s love in the world around us.

I personally have had to use these very traits to evaluate my friendships. I grew up in a small town and learned that not everyone is for every season of our lives.

Who is a Good Friend According to the Bible

The Bible speaks of friendship in Proverbs 18:24, saying “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” This verse emphasizes the importance of having close relationships with our friends and being loyal to them even during difficult times. A good friend according to the Bible is someone who sticks with us no matter what, and will never abandon us or betray our trust. Here is what Jesus said about friendships. Check out these verses about friendship.

  • A real friend shares the same truth.
    • 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”
  • A real friend goes the distance. 
    • Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is made for adversity.”  
  • A real friend listens well and counsels well. 
    • Proverbs 27:9 “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
  • A real friend keeps confidences.  
    •  Proverbs 16:28 “…a gossip separates close friends.
  • A real friend picks right up where she left off.
    • Proverbs 18:24 “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
  • A real friend can say hard things. 
    •  Proverbs 27:6 “wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
  •  A real friend knows being there is enough. 
    • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one. . .if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
  • A real friend celebrates rather than compares.
    • Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice.”
  •  A real friend forgives.
    •  Proverbs 17:9 “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.”
  •  A real friend makes you a better person each time you’re together. 
    • Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Types of Friendship in the Bible

In Scripture, there are many types of friendship. Paul mentions a lot of “friends” in his letters so we’re going to look at some of them as types of friendships.

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c] among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Colossians 4:7-18

Let’s first discuss Tychicus in Colossians 4:7-9. He was a great friend of Paul’s and served as his messenger. Tychicus demonstrated loyalty to Paul and the work he was doing for the Lord, which is an important trait of a good friend according to the Bible. What we can learn from Tychius is that we can be loyal to our friends and that it’s important to support them no matter the situation. Tychius was also close to Paul and would be able to share his heart with others.

In verse 9, we read about Onesimus. Onesimus befriend Paul in prision (Philemon 1:10). Paul calls him a brother. One of the friendships we need is one of familial relationship. We need friends that will support us, accept us and love us like family.

In verse 10 we are introduced to Aristarchus. Aristarchus was a fellow worker and is also mentioned in Acts 19:29. This type of friendship is important because it shows how important it is to have friends that understand and support our dreams, goals, and ambitions. We need to surround ourselves with people who will push us to do better, encourage us, and help us pursue our goals. He is imprisoned alongside Paul and continues with him in Acts meaning he’s fighting alongside with Paul. We need people in our corner like this.

In verse 10, we also meet Mark. We glorify God when we forgive  Mark left the mission and so there’s this split between Paul and Mark. This is a very important lesson we can learn from Mark. Even if someone has hurt us or betrayed our trust, we should always be willing to forgive them and start over in the friendship. By 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul commends Mark for his work in the ministry  It is around the end of Paul’s life and he is asking for Mark  to come to him. Paul was willing to forgive and forget, so should we.

In verse 11, we meet Jesus called Justus. He was a faithful follower of Jesus and this is an important lesson for us. We need friends who will help us follow Christ, encourage us to pursue holiness and remain steadfast in our faith.

Moving to verse 12, we meet Epaphras. Epaphras was a faithful servant of Jesus and he was always praying for the Colossians. This is an important reminder that we should be praying for our friends even when it doesn’t seem like there is anything else we can do to help them.

Meet Luke in verse 14. Luke was the beloved physician and friend of Paul. He was a great support to Paul in his ministry, traveling with him and just being there for him. We need friends who will love us unconditionally, no matter our flaws.

Finally, we meet Demas also in verse 14. Demas was a devoted follower of Jesus at first, but he later deserted Paul and went back to the world. We need to keep them close and be the gentle and encouraging hand to turn them back toward God.

How can we cultivate those relationships when they seem more difficult? We can cultivate these relationships by being genuine with one another, praying for each other, and encouraging one another in the pursuit of godliness. Loving our friends sacrificially is an important part of cultivating relationships according to the Bible.

We should be willing to put others before ourselves and love them as deeply as we are loved by God. By doing these things, we can cultivate relationships that honor God and foster the characteristics of a good friend according to the Bible. Although these are just some examples from the Bible, they serve as a great reminder of how important it is to have good friends in our lives. Let us remember to be loyal, accept and love others like family, encourage them, be willing to forgive them, and pray for them. All these traits are important in a good friendship according to the Bible. So let us strive for this kind of friendship in our lives.

If you could use some solid Christian friendships, come join my community. Be prepared to be prayed over and supported in your walk with the Lord.

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