Are You A Good Friend Or A Bad Friend?

Image courtesy of “Bergen Public Library” |

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.

Lending Freely

A good friend lends things and money freely.  A bad friend is stingy.

Sanctified Stealing

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.

Routinely Late

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.

Building Up

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.

Tech Etiquette

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.

Being Open

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.

Sharing Burdens

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.

Are you a good friend, or a bad friend?

See also: Are you a good friend or bad friend? Audio Message

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

4 Replies

  1. I don’t think friendship is talked about enough from a biblical perspective.

  2. You’re probably right about that one. It’s a pretty relevant topic too.

  3. I really liked this post! Speaking the truth in love is perhaps one of the best things about having a good friend. You can trust that they love you and have your best interest at heart. I dug the message too.

  4. Glad you liked it, Rach. And you listened to the message as well. Aren’t you a daisy.

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