As a kid I often made friends with whoever made friends with me. I’m not sure if that is unusual or not, but I wasn’t too particular when it came to friends. Feel free to laugh at me if you’d like! I’m laughing as I write this. Thankfully, I ended up with some pretty awesome friends as a child. However, once I was in a place where I needed to make new friends… Whether it was at a new school, a new job, or church I found it very helpful to look for these 5 Things or Qualities in a Good Friend!
I value transparency almost more than anything else in relationships. It is hard to build a friendship with someone who always has their walls up and cares most about protecting him or herself. I understand that we should all have some boundaries and that as relationships grow those boundaries change. However, a friendship will feel very one sided if those boundaries don’t change and there isn’t transparency and honesty from the other party. I love people who are real, who aren’t pretending, and who can share their struggles. I think that is where real friendship begins.
A friend who is selfless will often be a good listener. They will ask you questions about your life and not just tell you about their life! Be careful that you don’t become the person who is always talking about their own life with someone like this. Keep a healthy balance and show that you care about your friend by listening too. A selfless person will go out of their way to help others when it doesn’t benefit them at all. They might offer to babysit for someone in need, or they might pick up garbage that was left in a parking lot. Whatever they do, you will notice because they’ll do things to help others often.
Have you ever spent time around someone who has a lot of dreams, or someone who has big plans for their future? I’ve had friends who wanted to be everything from lawyers, to pastors, to politicians, to professional musicians. It’s awesome to be around people like this because they are passionate and they will motivate you to become everything you were made to be. You want your life to count. You want to leave a legacy. You want to make a difference! And friends without vision and motivation can sometimes hold you back from everything God has for you.
This might go without saying. A good friend will treat you with love and respect. However, I am not just talking about someone who will love you and who will love others. I am also talking about someone who loves himself or is at least trying to love herself. I think this is important because if you have a friend who is always cutting him or herself down, your friendship will probably be difficult. You can help someone like this greatly as you learn how to love yourself, but they probably won’t be able to be a good friend to you. If you feel led to have friends like this, I applaud you. Just make sure they aren’t your only friends and don’t let them pull you down an unhealthy path.
This can be a hard one. I love happy people, but only when it’s real. And joy that comes from the Lord truly surpasses understanding. It’s just like the peace of God. It is a gift. It is something that comes through someone who has their eyes fixed on God. Who is seeing the world, themselves, and you through God’s eyes! I find it seriously exhilarating to be around people like this. Someone with the joy of God will not be easily angered. They will find a way to see the bright side of every situation. And they will want to share their joy with you too!!
I must say that my best friends are those who know and love God. They are the friends who always lead me closer to Christ. They aren’t afraid to tell me the truth. And I would do anything for them. A friend like this is priceless. I’m praying that you will all find a friend or two like this.
Obviously, the 5 things I mentioned aren’t a complete list. I’m sure you have things you would add to it, or thoughts you like to share and I’d love to have you join this conversation! Please share what it is you look for in friends and why.
May God bless you deeply as you seek Him!
This blog was written by Kristen Jane Anderson. She is the author of Life, In Spite of Me. And founder of Reaching You Ministries.