Being the Right Kind of Friend
Bible Reading: James 1:17-18
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above. … He never changes or casts shifting shadows. James 1:17
A LOT OF people don’t know what makes true friendship. Does a true friend have to do the following things to be the right kind of friend? Check what you think of:
“If you are my true friend, you will let me copy your homework assignment because I’ve been too busy.”
“If you are my true girlfriend or boyfriend, you will have sex with me.”
“If you are my true friend, you will quit being friends with the people I don’t like.”
Should being a friend to others be based on what’s right rather than what a friend might want? Absolutely! Some say the only way you know if an action is right is if it works or makes someone happy. But there’s more to right and wrong than that. And being a true friend doesn’t always mean doing what your friend wants you to do, because what he or she may want you to do might not be best. If it isn’t right, it won’t be best for you or your friend in the long run.
So how do you know the right way to treat your friends?
Well, you start with what’s right-and then you wind up with what works. You start with several indispensable standards of true friendship-like being available to your friends, accepting friends for who they are, and giving friends the support and encouragement they need. These standards for friendship are absolutely right for every situation. There is something about these standards that guarantees they will work to deepen true friendship every time.
You can be sure these standards for true friendship are right for two reasons. First, they are based on the Bible. Second, the standards of friendship in the Bible are right because they come from the heart of God. God himsel, his character and nature shows the standard for what is right and perfect and good. That’s how you know that applying these standards—availability, acceptance, support, encouragement—to your friendships really works. They flow from the core of God’s character, so you know they’re good.
REFLECT: Why would you want to run your friendships according to God’s standards of right and wrong?
PRAY: God, help me not to crumble when my friends want things that aren’t what you want.