138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
It’s summertime. The sun is bright, the days are long, the grill is out and ready to fire up. People flock to pools, lakes, beaches and baseball games to relax and enjoy the season. Between the warm weather and options for recreation, the conditions are perfect for cultivating friendships.
You see, life was never meant to be lived solo. There are way too many challenging times and dangerous detours to make the journey alone. Solomon said, “Two are better than one ... Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
However, I fear that many believers are surrounded by acquaintances rather than true friends. Let me offer three characteristics of true friendship.
1. True friends are loyal.
Fair weather acquaintances come and go. They are circumstantial and situational connections. They are with you only in times of common activity and convenience. They are around as long as you have something they need. But a true friend “loves at all times;” they “stick closer than a brother” (Proverbs 17:17; 18:28).
2. True friends follow Jesus together.
Recreational friends are there for the game, the outing, the barbecue, but true friends share a deep commitment to Christ. That spiritual connection develops a bond. The relationship is rich because of Jesus. Certainly, you should share your faith with those who don’t know Christ, but you can’t share the experience of your faith with those who don’t walk with Jesus.
3. True friends give honest counsel.
Acquaintances will tell you what they think you want to hear. That keeps the conversations and commitments on the surface. But true friends are invested. They care enough to speak truth even when it hurts. That’s why “wounds from a friend can be trusted” (Proverbs 27:6). If people around you are not willing to have hard conversations, they are not true friends.
As you enjoy the company of friends and neighbors this summer, keep these characteristics in mind.
Use this season to be intentional about developing friendships that are loyal, honest, and Christ-centered.
Here are a couple of things to think about:
- What are some additional characteristics you look for in true friends?
- If you have children, how will you teach them what to look for in true friends?