Have you ever paused and pondered over the characteristics of a genuine friend? Here are four attributes that are the hallmarks of an authentic friendship.
The Seal of Trust
A true friendship is a sanctuary, a sacred space where you can unveil your deepest secrets, flaws, and vulnerabilities without fearing the outside world’s judgment or gossip. If you’ve ever entrusted a secret to a friend and it’s remained solely with them, then you are blessed indeed with a real friendship. Such a person isn’t just a confidante but also a prayer warrior who intercedes for you. Their presence in your life is a priceless blessing.
Steadfast in Storms
When life’s trials batter you, and everyone else seems quick to point fingers and blame, a true friend is your safe harbor who stands by you steadfastly. They remain by your side even when others turn their backs, supporting you through the stormy times. If you’re lucky enough to have such a friend, cherish them with all your might.
Suspension of Judgment
A bona fide friend tells you the truth, stinging as it might sometimes be, according to Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” But even as they impart honest words, they refrain from judging you harshly. They acknowledge that they, too, are flawed and therefore aren’t quick to judge your imperfections. They extend to you the benefit of the doubt (1 Cor. 13:7), always seeking to see the best in you.
Respecting Your Words
Ever felt frustrated when you’re pouring your heart out, only to be interrupted halfway? In contrast, a true friend is all ears, letting you finish your thoughts without interference. They refrain from making it about themselves but patiently listen to you, providing a safe space for you to express yourself fully. They honor the gift of conversation, making it a two-way dialogue rather than a monologue.
Proverbs chapter 27 is a wonderful guide on authentic friendship, describing these essential traits. Genuine friends are trustworthy confidantes, stalwart companions in adversity, gracious in judgment, and attentive listeners. Having such a friend is a gift to be treasured. So, ask yourself – are you offering the same invaluable gift of friendship to others? If you are, then you indeed are a precious friend.