Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 2

Traits of true Christian friends

Bible text(s)

13The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.

John 15:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

24Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.

Proverbs 18:24GNBOpen in Bible reader

17People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.

Proverbs 27:17GNBOpen in Bible reader

So, what does a true Christian friendship look like? Let us break it down into traits that are easy to identify.

Christian friends love sacrificially

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Jesus is the finest example of a true Christian friend. His love for us is sacrificial, never selfish. He demonstrated it not only through his miracles of healing, but also more fully through the humble service of washing the disciples’ feet, and then, ultimately, when he laid down his life on the cross.

Christian friends trust completely

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

This proverb reminds us that a true Christian friend is trustworthy and warns us that we should only expect to share complete trust with a few loyal friends. Trusting too easily can lead to ruin, so be careful about putting your confidence in a mere companion. Over time, our true Christian friends will prove their trustworthiness by sticking closer than a brother or sister.

Christian friends give mutual edification

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

True Christian friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually and physically. We receive strength, encouragement and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. However, at times, we also have to say difficult things that our dearest friend needs to hear. Yet, because of the shared trust and acceptance, we are the one person who can influence our friend’s heart, for we know how to deliver the hard message with truth and grace. In turn, a good friend will make you brighter, sharper and more useful to God.

True Christian friendships are rare treasures. They take time to nurture, but in the process, we grow more Christ-like.

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