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What is a friend?

Merrriam-Websters dictionary defines a friend as:

One attached to another by affection or esteem; a favored companion; an acquaintance.

The bible describes the characteristics of a friend by the example of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13, NKJ)

Friendship, what is it? What does it mean to you? So often individuals are quick to label someone a friend when in actually they do not know them at all. Are you guilty of putting someone in a position in your life that they have not earned?

Have you ever wondered if those that you call friend really feel the same way about you? If you both have the same realistic expectations of a friend or a friendship? Better yet, do you possess the same friendship traits such as loyalty, honesty and being  trustworthy? Not sure?

This is a great time to conduct a friendship check-up.

Take a moment and record the criteria that one must possess to be considered a friend of yours.

  • Define what friendship means to you.
  • What your expectations are of a friend.
  • Identify the character traits you are looking for in a friend.

Now based on what you recorded, take an honest assessment of those that you call friend and see if they meet your criteria.  Well, are they worthy of being called a friend?

The next step:

Ask those who you call friend to do the same. As you compare your definitions and expectations, you might see similarities and you might see differences. But most importantly do you see a cohesive bond that represents a friend?

If so, consider yourself fortunate. You possess a rare commodity called a true friend.

If not, you are in a good place. Take advantage of this time to set boundaries. Establish your needs and desires and from there seek out individuals with the same perspective. Make sure that you communicate your expectations of a friend to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Pain, disappointment and confusion are all a result of unmet needs that have not been expressed. No one can meet your needs or expectations, if they do not know what they are. Learn how to communicate your desires. In the end, you will be glad that you did.

A man who has friends must himself be friendly. (Proverbs 18:24; NKJ)

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