Image courtesy of “Bergen Public Library” | Flickr.com
I believe that one of the best ways to find a good friend, is to be one yourself. Here’s some thoughts to help determine if you are a good friend or a bad friend.
A good friend lends things and money freely. A bad friend is stingy.
A good friend gives stuff back that he borrows. He’s grateful that his friend is willing to go without something for a period of time, so that he can benefit. A good friend returns borrowed things promptly, realizing that the friend who borrowed it may need it. A bad friend keeps borrowed things (steals them) and justifies why it’s ok in his own mind.
A good friend not only lends, but also gives generously, with no strings attached. A good friend understands that it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and loves to share generously. A bad friend keeps everything to himself.
Integrity and Commitment
A good friend does what he says and keeps his commitments, even when it hurts. (Ps 15:4) His “yes” means “yes” and his “no” means “no”. (James 5:12) A bad friend can’t be trusted to do what he says he’s going to.
A good friend is prompt, regularly showing up on time, because he has respect for your time. A bad friend is routinely late. He’s selfish with your time.
Speaking The Truth In Love
A good friend loves you enough to tell you the truth, and he makes sure to communicate it in a loving way. (Eph 4:15) A bad friend is too afraid to tell you the truth, often engaging in flattery.
A good friend builds you up. (Eph 4:29) A bad friend tears you down.
Sarcasm and Joking
A good friend honors and respects you. A bad friend engages in condescending sarcasm and joking.
A good friend has good tech etiquette. He doesn’t text when you are talking to him. He doesn’t take calls when engaged in a conversation with you. If an interruption is really important, he apologizes and politely excuses himself. A good friend returns calls and texts promptly. A bad friend is rude with tech, letting it interrupt conversations. A bad friend is hard to get a hold of and inconsistent in getting back to you.
Listening and Asking Questions
A good friend is a great listener. A good friend makes you feel like you’re the most important person on the planet. He asks questions and puts you first. A bad friend is a bad listener. He only talks about himself, rarely asking questions about you.
A good friend is open about thoughts, feelings, and experiences. A bad friend is surfacy and shallow.
A good friend rejoices with those who rejoice and mourns with those who mourn. (Rom 12:15) A bad friend is envious. He has a hard time being happy for you in your success, and enjoys seeing you knocked down.
A good friend shows unconditional forgiveness and keeps no record of wrongs. A bad friend is bitter and holds grudges.
A good friend shares your burdens, so you don’t have to do it alone. (Gal 6:2) A bad friend doesn’t help because it’s an inconvenience.
A good friend makes you feel welcome in his home, and often has you over for meals. A bad friend rarely invites you over and makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable when you are in his home.
A good friend is affectionate. He gives hugs, puts an arm around you. A bad friend is cold and distant. (Phil 1:8)
A good friend prays for you regularly. A bad friend doesn’t.