A Good Friend is Loyal, Helpful, Friendly and Sticky:
- “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (Proverbs 17:17).
- “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24).
Michael W. Smith wrote one of the most popular Contemporary Christian songs of all time called Friends. What was it about this song that made it so popular? I believe it’s found in the words of the chorus, and the longing in the heart of everyone for a true-blue, life-long friend who will love at all times: “Friends are friends forever, when the Lord’s the Lord of them…a lifetime‘s not too long to live as friends.” Wouldn’t it be great to have a friend or two like that? In the book of Proverbs, Solomon gives us four important principles that we need to practice if we want to be good friends. Those four characteristics of a good friend are: loyal, helpful, friendly and sticky (I’ll explain that last one when we get to it).
A GOOD FRIEND IS LOYAL:
The first important quality of a good friend is that he or she is loyal. What does it mean to be loyal? The NKJV translation of Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” A loyal friend is someone who is always faithful to defend, support, and be true to their friends. Are you a loyal friend? A loyal friend doesn’t gossip about their friends when they’re not around, and refuses to listen to other people gossiping about their friends. When your friend is having a really bad day, do you try to stay out of their way until they cool off? Or will you stand by them to encourage them?
A GOOD FRIEND IS HELPFUL:
Not only is a good friend loyal, but a good friend is also helpful. Do you help your friends when they have problems? The dictionary defines helping as, to make things easier or better for a person; to give one in need or trouble something necessary as relief. When was the last time you helped a friend with a problem? We’re living in a world where most people are lonely and isolated from one another. We build walls to protect ourselves and keep others out, and we wouldn’t dare to tear down someone else’s wall to get to them, even if we knew they were going through a hard time. A good friend is a helpful friend. If you know someone’s going through a difficult situation, talk to them about it. Ask them if there’s something you can do to help.
A GOOD FRIEND IS FRIENDLY:
Not only is a good friend loyal and helpful, but a good friend is also friendly. What does it mean that a friend is friendly? “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).
A GOOD FRIEND IS STICKY:
So far, we have seen that a good friend is loyal, helpful and friendly. Now we come to the fanal one. What does it mean that a good friend is sticky? Obviously you’ve figured out I’m not talking about jam or honey here, although a friendship should be sweet like that. The Bible says that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. We know that this is primarily talking about Jesus, who will never leave us nor forsake us. But as Christians, we are also called to follow this example of Jesus and stick close to our friends.
IN CONCLUSION – A GOOD FRIEND IS A GOOD CHRISTIAN:
The Bible describes four characteristics of a good friend – someone who is loyal, helpful, friendly, and sticky. But some of you might say, “Well, I know I want to have that kind of friends, I just don’t know if I want to be that kind of a friend. It sounds like a lot of work.” Well you’re right, there’s definitely more work involved in being a good friend than there is to sit back and be content to be alone. But consider these final challenging words from Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). Being a good friend isn’t just a good idea, it’s a commandment given to us from our Lord Jesus.
Pastor Chris Jordan