How to Pick a Best Friend

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Best friends are a gift. But what makes the best kind of best friend?

My best friend in elementary school was a blonde with freckles named Angie. She often wore a tutu and cowboy boots to school. I was awed by her carefree approach to life. (And her fashion sense, of course!)

In high school, my best friend had the same first and middle name as me (Erin Lee). She was creative and introspective. Once a week, she’d pack a picnic breakfast and pick me up before the sun rose so we could drive, chat, and pray.

Fair-weather friends don’t make good best friends. A real friend will stick by you through thick and thin.

Now my husband wins the best friend award for me (swoon), but I’ve also got a small group of very close girlfriends, including Dree, my six-foot-tall extrovert friend who loves to talk about deep stuff; Bekah, my super-smart math teacher friend (conversations with her feel so safe and familiar, like wrapping up in a big, comfy sweater); and Amanda and Cheryl, my life-in-the-trenches friends who do things like walk twenty miles by my side.

Best friends are a gift. But what makes the best kind of best friend? Here’s what’s on my list.

A friend “loves at all times.”

That idea is ripped straight out of God’s Word (Prov. 17:17).

Fair-weather friends don’t make good best friends. A real friend will stick by you through thick and thin.

(Psst . . . if you want to be best friend material, you need to stick by others, too.)

A friend knits their life to yours.

In 1 Samuel 18:1, we get a picture of true friendship from the relationship between David and his BFF, Jonathan.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Knit-together souls. This is the image of true friendship. It says, “I see who you are, and I choose to weave my life into yours.”

A best friend should do more than make you laugh; she should make you more like Jesus.

Jonathan and David’s friendship took some effort. That’s why knit-together souls are such a beautiful description of knowing. It is the process of mining someone else’s heart to discover all the jewels within. It’s seeing someone for who they really are and willfully super-gluing your own self to them.

If someone keeps the conversation at surface level or only lets you see the polished-up side of her life, they’re not the best choice for best friend.

A best friend makes you a better person.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17).

A best friend should do more than make you laugh; she should make you more like Jesus.

A best friend knows what love is.

Take your best friend’s name and insert it wherever the word love is used in these famous verses.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:4–6).

A best friend can be fun. She can be generous. She should be kind. But she should also be loving. This verse reminds us that love is more than a feeling. It requires action steps.

Your best friend might be unexpected.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend” (Prov. 7:4).

There may be seasons in life when you don’t have an actual, flesh-and-blood best friend. In those times, God’s Word can be a great source of comfort, insight, and inspiration. That’s because it points to the best friend any girl could ever want . . .

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Do you have a best friend? How does she stack up with this list?

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