“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

Do you need a friend? Then be a friend to someone. These are the tips of a genuine friend:Genuine friends have open ears, many people are self-centered; they only want to talk about themselves. They don’t listen when you speak because they are too busy thinking of what they will say next. A true friend will listen when you speak. He wants to understand how you feel and what concerns you. Because Jesus is our friend, He listens to us. Psalm 91:15 “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”

Genuine friends always find common ground with us. Though you may have friend with whom you have no common interest, your best friends have something in common with you. Because Jesus is our friend, He sought common ground with us. Philippians 2:7 “He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

Genuine friends always look out for us. Walter Winchell has said, “A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.” Jonathan was a genuine friend to king David. When Jonathan’s father, Saul, planned to kill David, Jonathan warned him and helped him escape.

Genuine friends are always honest with us. Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Sometimes we need to be told the truth. I think that’s what Paul had in mind when he admonished the Ephesians to “speak the truth in love” in Ephesians 4:15.

Genuine friends help you carry your load. Often, life hands us great “burdens”: loss of a job, a handicap, poor health, loss of a loved one, etc. A true friend helps your carry that load. Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

A friend is someone you can always count on and genuine friends always want what is best for us. Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” A true friend always encourages you to do your best because Jesus is our friend, He brings out our best.

Friends build us spiritually. Genuine friends want you to become more like Christ. Someone once said, “A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you’ve been, accepts who you’ve become and still gently invites you to grow.” Because Jesus is our friend, He wants us to grow spiritually.

Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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