Trust is essential to true friendship. We all need someone with whom we can share our lives, thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. We need to be able to share our deepest secrets with someone, without worrying that those secrets will end up in public the next day! Failing to be trustworthy with those intimate secrets can destroy a friendship in a hurry. Faithfulness and loyalty are key to true friendship. Without them, we often feel betrayed, left out, and lonely. In true friendship, there is no backbiting, no negative thoughts, no turning away.
True friendship requires certain accountability factors. Real friends encourage one another and forgive one another where there has been an offense. Genuine friendship supports during times of struggle. Friends are dependable. In true friendship, unconditional love develops. We love our friends no matter what and we always want the best for our friends.
True friendship stories are found throughout the Bible. In Genesis 18:17-33, we read about God sharing His intentions with Abraham. Abraham responds by telling God his thoughts and feelings about the situation. God and Abraham are able to do this because they trust and respect each other.
First Samuel 20 focuses on the friendship of David and Jonathan. These two men truly cared for each other and had great trust and confidence in one another. David was running for his life from Jonathan's father, Saul. Jonathan recognized that David was innocent. Because of the true friendship they shared, David survived Saul's assassination attempts and went on to become one of Israel's greatest kings.
Real and true friendship involves freedom of choice, accountability, truth, and forgiveness. Peter and Jesus give us this example: Peter, afraid for his life after Jesus is led away from the Garden of Gethsemane, denies knowing Jesus (John 18). As He is led away by His accusers, Jesus casts a look toward Peter that says, "I knew you would deny Me, and I forgive you" (John 21).
Real friendship looks at the heart, not just the "packaging." Genuine friendship loves for love's sake, not just for what it can get in return. True friendship is both challenging and exciting. It risks, it overlooks faults, and it loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt. Genuine friendship, also called "agape" love, comes from the Lord. The Lord Jesus calls us His friends and He laid down His life for us (John 15).
Relationships in real life involve different levels of friendships, and that's okay. But humans are designed by God for lasting relationships. Often our isolationist society offers only vague, empty relationships. God wants us to have friends here on earth. Most of all, He wants us to be friends with Him!
God's Word tells us that a friend sticks closer than a brother, and that in order for one to be a friend, one must show themselves friendly (Proverbs 18:24). The question is: what type of friend do you desire to be?
Generally speaking there are Three Types of Friendships:
What is true friendship according to Jesus?
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
It was just a few hours later when Jesus felt the absence if His Father’s presence. That is the exact thing that He didn’t want to feel, however, He experienced it. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Proverbs 18:24 “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
You must believe Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, and that includes you. When you believe this you are immediately cleansed of every wrong thought, word or deed you have ever done or had. God completely washes away every record of sin tied to your name! Isn't that fantastic!? You may or may not have a tremendous sense of a lifting of guilt and shame. This is a spiritual transaction, and sometimes emotions don't catch up until later. If a sense of guilt or depression continues, it might be wise to list all the sins that have been plaguing your conscience and one by one, tell God you are sorry for them, and would like them washed away in the blood Jesus shed on the cross for you. If you have been sincere, with nothing held back, then you may just as confidently claim the promise in I John 1:9, where we are told, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, [or fair] and will cleanse us of every sin."
Believe also that Jesus rose again from the dead and went back to Heaven to prepare a home for us. If He had not, we might be forgiven but would have no power to live holy and pleasingly before God. The same Jesus that forgives us, by His resurrection, helps us to be good.
If you want to meet Jesus now, you can. He is waiting to hear your cry and call to Him. He desperately wants to come into your heart and be your Lord and best friend. Pray this prayer out loud to Jesus and believe that when you finish He has answered you.
The principle of friendship is also found in Amos. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Friends are of like mind. The truth that comes from all of this is a friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals, and it is only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it. Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you. A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust. A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon a likeness of mind.
Finally, the real definition of a true friend comes from the Apostle Paul: "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (John 15:13). Now, that is true friendship!