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Todays topic: How do you define the word friend? What are three things you can do to be a better friend to the people in your life?


The boys and Aunt Linda at Point Roberts, WA. Yes, that's Mt. Baker in the background.

There are friends, and then there are friends. I suppose I should say there are acquaintances and there are friends. But there are also those friends who truly become closer than family. I am pleased and humbled to say I have been blessed with all three. Very blessed.


A true friend is one who listens to you. A true friend is one who takes the time to know the real you. A true friend celebrates the best of who you are and encourages you to continue to grow in the areas you are less than your best – encourages with love and honesty and lots of grace. A true friend maintains healthy boundaries and rejoices with you when you maintain your own healthy boundaries. A friend cries with you, laughs with you, and is content to just sit with you when you need to be quiet and re-collect your self.

Proverbs has much to say about friends:

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. 27:6
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. 27:9
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 27:17
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. 18:24

Jesus summed up the greatest qualification of a true friend (in His love for and friendship with us) in John 15:12-14:

Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

Even God desires to be our friend and for each of us to be His friend:

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. Psalm 25:14

And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. James 2:23

Now, for what I can do to be a better friend. I’ve been giving that some thought, especially as I have been dealing with my “story” in counseling. The first thing I can do to be a better friend is to take the time to know myself so that I can fully offer myself in friendship. To be fully present with another is one of the greatest gifts there is. Second, I can learn to set healthy boundaries so that I am not so worn out or worn down. And third, I can slow down and take time with others and not be focused on my schedule and my wants. Listening with intentionality and an ear to the heart of God – that is my goal.

How about you? Any thoughts you want to add here?