What makes a good friend? Is it regular updates? Is it his or her show of love and concern? Is it the many things you have in common?
Let’s take a look at James 2:23.
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.” (NIV)
What can I learn about being a better friend from this verse?
1) Friends believe (in) each other. Friends want the best for each other, trusting that s/he has nothing but the best intentions for the other. “Abraham believed God.” The Amplified Bible’s translation reads “Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God.” The very essence of a friendly relationship implies trust in and reliance on the other in good times and bad.
2) Friends help the other become better people. A good friend helps his friend become a better person, one ‘more righteous.’ The Amplified Bible’s version reads Abraham’s friendship with God “was accounted to (Abraham) as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed).” No self-respecting friend would help his friend down a dangerous path, or knowingly stand by while his friend is self-destructing. Friends care passionately about their friends, and help them reach their fullest potential.
3) Friends hold their relationships with their friends in the highest regard. A friendship is a privilege. When one stands up and declares that s/he is a friend of someone, s/he is saying, “I value this person.” We are close. I cherish this relationship. To be called someone’s friend is an honor. (Can you imagine dying and having no ‘friends’ at your funeral?)
At face value, it seems easier to build relationships with people we see on a regular basis, but just because you’ve been out of touch with a friend doesn’t mean the friendship has to end. Work on your friendships. The best relationships are built on a foundation of trust and regularity; if someone hasn’t been in touch a while, it may be hard to rekindle the flames of friendship. If your friend, however, is willing and open to bringing the relationship back, then it could be the beginning of a wonderful new friendship.
Go ahead, talk to a friend today.