7 WAYS TO KNOW A TRUE FRIEND

Intro:
I received a question from one of my young friends yesterday. In answering it, I thought it will be best to do a full post on the subject because it wasn’t the first time I’d been asked the same question. To prevent the clumsiness of using both masculine and feminine pronouns, I’ll stick to the feminine since the question came from a girl, but the answer applies to both genders. I hope that many are blessed through reading this post both in identifying true friends and in being such friends themselves.

Question:
“Please, ma, l really need your help. How can you know a true friend?” – Faith O.

Answer:

Hi Faith! I’m glad you asked this question because friendship is an important aspect of life and the right friends can go a long way in making our lives easier and sweeter while the wrong friends can ruin us.

Before I outline signs we can use to identify true friends, I want us to look at two examples of friendship from the Bible, one good, the other bad.

The first is David’s famous friendship with Prince Jonathan which began after David killed Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18:3 that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. That was why even though his father, King Saul, was trying to secure the kingdom for him by killing David, Jonathan defended David and helped him escape (1 Samuel 19:1-7; 1 Samuel 20). And while David was on the run, he came to visit and encourage him (1 Samuel 19:1-7; 1 Samuel 20; 1 Samuel 23:16-18).

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Unlike his father, Saul, Jonathan was not envious of Gods anointing on David concerning the kingship. He wanted to see David succeed and would have been content with a secondary role. You can see why David was devastated at the death of Jonathan and mourned him deeply (2 Samuel 1:11-27).

On the other hand, we have Job and his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) who came to commiserate with him when misfortune befell him. At first, they did well (Job 2:11-13). At the sight of him they wept, then they sat quietly beside him for a week because they saw that his suffering was great. (Job had lost his children, his wealth and his health.)

Later, however, when they tried to make sense of his situation and proffer solutions, they missed it because they wrongly accused Job of wrongdoing and of being responsible for his plight. It became their word against his and they lost their sympathy for him in the ensuing arguments.

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When you juxtapose these two kinds of friendship, you will begin to see the differences between a true and a false friend. But I will itemise them for easy identification.

7 Ways To Know A True Friend

A true friend helps you. She shares what she has with you when you’re in need. Anyone who keeps taking from you without giving back is not a true friend.

A true friend tells you the truth, even when it hurts. She does not deceive or flatter you.
(When Amnon, David’s first son was lusting after his half-sister, Tamar, if Jonadab his cousin and friend whom he confided in had told him to snap out of it, he wouldn’t have lost his life at Absalom’s hand. Instead, Jonadab gave Amnon terrible advice. He told Amnon how to trick Tamar into being alone with him in his bedroom. Amnon raped Tamar and her brother, Absalom, killed him in revenge – 2 Samuel 13:1-29).

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A true friend supports you, she does not pull you down. Even when you guys are competing for something, she will be fair (‘Let the better side win’), not play dirty to win.

A true friend encourages you, she does not mock you or terrify you. She will urge you to pursue your dreams. In short, she will want to see you become the best that you can be.

A true friend keeps your secrets. She does not reveal them to tarnish your image or get along with others.

A true friend defends you, she does not join others to fight or castigate you. Even when you’re wrong, she corrects you in love. She does not join the crowd to say, “Crucify her!”

A true friend stays with you whether you’re up or down, rich or poor, healthy or sick. She rejoices with you when things are rosy in your life, she grieves with you when the opposite is the case. In other words, fair weather friends are not true friends.

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Conclusion:
As you can see, a true friend is a gift from God. She is loyal, unselfish and caring. She also prays for you if she’s spiritual. We need to be that kind of friend ourselves to those close to us if we want to receive the same treatment from others.
Ultimately, the best friend of all is Jesus. Relating with Him through the Holy Spirit helps us to learn how to care for our friends and be cared for.

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Here are a few pertinent Bible verses on this subject:

“To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend” – Job 6:14.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:5-6

“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” – Proverbs 11:13

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24

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Are there other ways you can think of through which we can identify true friends?

Perhaps you would like to share a testimony about someone whose friendship has truly blessed your life as I’ve done in two of the Related Posts above.
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The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

90 thoughts on “7 WAYS TO KNOW A TRUE FRIEND

  1. This is beautiful, perfectly to the point, and very true! Oh what God has revealed to me about friendships over the years! The stories I could tell! I’m looking forward to sharing it on The Silver Lining, to help people find freedom from toxic relationships, and instead pursue sweet friendships centered on Jesus Christ! God bless you, Precious Edith, in Jesus’ name! I’m blessed to have you for my friend! ❤️

    • So glad to hear from you, Angela. I’ve been enriched by your friendship too. You are a godly woman and a big inspiration to me. God bless you and your family abundantly in Jesus’ name. xoxo

      • Thank you, dear Edith! I always admire you and your writing, and it’s so refreshing to stop by for a story or a reminder or a bit of wisdom. Love you! God bless you and your beloved, and God bless Nigeria, in Jesus’ name! ?

        • Thanks a whole lot, Angela! Your visit means a lot to me. God bless the US too! I follow the news and pray that God uses Trump to reverse the evil done against traditional values under his predecessor. I also pray that He purifies for Himself a people ready for the return of our Lord Jesus, in the US, Nigeria and all over the world.

  2. True friends are indeed a blessing and very rare. At least with these pointers,i’ll be able to tell a true friend from a fake one and possibly cut him/her from my life before i’m completely ruined. It’s wonderful to know Jesus has got my back any time, any day though. Thank u aunty. Oh by the way, i love the graphics and how clear it is

    • Praise God! Pixabay is always coming to the rescue with highly compressed but high quality pix. Glad you liked the post. God’s grace in your academic work, my dear!

  3. That is true, a true friend is the one that can love you no matter what, he can help you even when you are depressed. A true friend will be fond of his friend and will never allow any harm to come near you. just like David and Jonathan who were known as bossom friends in the Bible. Their friendship was like a bond, it was inseparable even when king saul Jonathan’s father tried to kill David yet, his son Jonathan revealed the plot to David, that is a true friend.

  4. It’s true that a true friend is one who not only shares in your grief but shows you a way out by giving you the best advice. God is our number one friend and he said we should love everyone as ourself.

  5. This is so beautiful! A true friend is a gift from Heaven indeed! One to be loved and treasured! TY for this lovely post! Very encouraging! ❤

  6. I really love that point that says that a true will always tell you the truth. Real friends are hard to come by, now I know the criteria for choosing true friends.

  7. I’m very happy about this post. I can use this to select true friends and also know the ones i should keep off. Thank you ma for this

  8. Huh!
    I couldn’t stop weeping while reading through this post.
    I’ve been having little challenges presently…and when I look around, I tend not to have confidence in my friends so I can confide in them. Then I began to ask myself questions like, “Are they truly my friends?”
    I was so unhappy and confused yesterday about this, I went to your office to seek counsel but you weren’t there.
    What impresses me the most is the point: “A true friend always tells you the truth even when it hurts.” These are the exact friends I need, not parasites who know I exist just to provide for them once they’re in need.

    My heart-felt gratitude goes out to you, Faith O. (my namesake) for asking this question.

    And you know I’m always happy having you as my lecturer, Ma’am Edith.
    I’m grateful for making it possible on this platform for people like me to always get answers to our long but unanswered questions.
    Thank you and God bless!

    • So sorry you missed me yesterday. I’m glad you came across this post and it blessed you. May God lead you to find friends that your relationships will be mutually beneficial in Jesus’ name.

  9. Hmm do my friends really have the above qualities?And me as a friend do I have the above qualities too?true friends are more like a blessing from God .They are like family.Though hard to find ,but there,s a good feeling of confidence when you have one.

  10. The question is, “Is there still a true friend?” Yes of course, true friends still exist but they are hard to come by. So if you have one, cherish the person because they are like gold found in piles of coal. Your friends should be established in Christ, for it is only then that they can be true friends and your relationship will last.

  11. Thank you Ma for this post. When I saw this post I said to myself that I must read it, so that I’ll know if my friend has all the qualities of a true friend and finally I’m convinced that she is a true friend. God bless you Ma for this wonderful post.

  12. From the story of job and his friends, I will say true friends will stay true to you both in times of struggles, troubles and hardship,and they will also be there in times of merry

  13. I commend your approach towards addressing the issue Faith O. raised. The most true and sincere backup must come from the Holy book of God. You covered all aspect of friendship. Kudos!

  14. There’s a saying that goes ” it takes a real friend to see your pain even when covered with smile’s”.
    It takes a real to tell you to take his place.
    It takes a real friend to tell you, your wrong and fight for or with you just to correct them.
    It takes a real friend to defend you in your absence even when they know you were wrong.
    And please when we meet those friends never let them go because, you might not know the value of touch light till you find yourself in darkness.
    Thanks ma’am I’m inspired by your words.

  15. Not everyone is lucky to have someone they can call a true friend,someone in whom they can confide and who will stand by them in any kind of situation. I think I am blessed in this aspect though cause I have more than one true friend, I have three. They are the ones I trust to correct me when I make mistakes and to tell me the truth to my face. They are the ones who are ready to toil with me so as to lessen my burden. They are the ones who are always there for me and I treasure them so so much because I know just how rare they are and this post has reinforced my belief that they are assets to me. Thank you aunty

  16. Yes, a true friend sticks with you through thick and thin and does not derive joy in your misery. This will help us learn in areas we have fallen short and also improve the state of our relationships with people. Thank you for sharing…

  17. I have meet people in my life that were true friends ..
    People that I don’t even know but staying with them over time showed me that they are more than friends.
    Almost all the quality you mentioned ma I have found in this special people.
    But the part were you said keeping your secret , I think the only friend you can open up to and he will keep your secret is our lord jesus ,this days i don’t trust people with my secret.

  18. Having the right people around you matters a lot. The above mentioned parameters are quite reliable in knowing ones true friends. God bless you Ma

  19. This is absolutely correct. A true friend stays with you through thick n thin, a true friend never disappoint. A true friend is steadfast, buh I doubt if we still have such true friend. Even if we do, it comes rare. God is the only true friend we should have because he never fails. God bless you richly Ma.

  20. This is beautiful and very true. A true friend remains true to you no matter the problems you face!! Nice one ma!

  21. Exactly…A true Friend is rare to come across
    “A true friend keeps your secret”
    These days someone you wine and dine with can end up backstabbing and washing your dirty linens outside and still be moving along with you in pretence. That is why we should turn to God because him alone can make the best friend and also direct us towards people that can display true friendship.

  22. All these are true. If you have a friend that has all these qualities, then you’d know that you have a true friend. However, the part that says a true friend tells you the truth can be contradictory. This is because sometimes when you tell a friend the truth on something about them, they might take offence. So, a true friend should always tell the truth but be very kind and cautions while telling it.

  23. God bless you ma. Truly,these are the true indices of a good friend. He is not sycophant; he tells you bitter truth that you would not want to hear.
    Many people have gone away from doing the right thing just because of the friends they follow.

  24. These are indeed ways to know who truly is your friend, but before we look out for those qualities in our friends we should also work towards being a true friend to others…God bless you ma for this post.

  25. A true friend rejoices when you rejoice, striking point ma ,as not everyone is happy with another’s success, we should be mindful of the listed qualities to avoid getting hurt or betrayed

  26. A true friend will talk sh#t to your face and say nice things behind your back.
    I strongly agree with the adage which says that “a true friend is better than a wicked sister or brother”.
    Nice post, ma!

  27. A true friendship is rare but when you find someone who overlooks your flaws, cautions you and always try to stick with you even in trying times, keep the person!

  28. Ma, a true friend is also one who has your back even when you do see each other all the time because of distance or different programs you pursue. A true friend is one that even after months of meeting up you still feel a very positive and welcoming energy from. A true friend is one that will correct you, no matter how hard it might be, when the need arises

  29. A true friend is one who overlooks your failures,supports you during hard times and celebrates your success.

  30. This is indeed a needed and beautiful piece. This days we have difficulty, especially for youngsters like us, differentiating good friends from bad ones. And this is what leads a lot of us astray. Good friends are like assets that we should try not to let slip of our hands.

  31. A friend in need is friend indeed:we should always try to be good friends. We should not give any bad advice to our friends in other not mislead them.

  32. True friend would always be with you even when you are having financial issues and not those who would come around when is rosy but would always support you physically and spiritually even when is going to inconvenience them.

  33. A true friend is one who is willing to help you out anytime you call upon him/her without considering your flaws but always willing to help you out anyway. A true friend is better than a wicked brother

  34. A true friend doesn’t hesitate to tell you the truth even though it might hurt.
    A true friend sticks with you, through thick and thin.
    A true friend never talks bad about you in your absence.
    A true friend defends you in your absence.
    A true friend is one who would stick with you against all odds

  35. Sometimes ma, I think a real friend can hide the truth to protect you, it does not mean she is selfish or something, it might just be solely for her friends safety.

  36. Interesting piece ma. To add to the list, a true friend brings out the best in you, builds you up morally and otherwise and even draws you closer to God. Thanks for this.

  37. A true friend is all we need. Unlike this times when we no longer know the one true friends most times they just hide under good covers but deep down they can stab you till you die. With this hints I hope that we can get to know the ones that are our friends of friends with the help of the holy spirit.

  38. I remember when my “supposed friend” whom I thought of as my confidant let out what I told her in confidence. I was really mad not really at her, but at myself, that I kept calling myself a fool. Lol!
    I mean, where is the trust?

    I think friendship would get healthy when we not just want good friends but try to be good friends ourselves, because friendship is not a one way street.

  39. True friends don’t judge, true friends are supportive, true friends corrects. The kind of friends we keep goes a long way in determining how far we go in life. Our friends are humans and have the tendency to disappoint but Jesus who is the greatest friend never disappoint.

  40. A faithful friend is hard to find, but if you find one equal and true never leave the old for new. God brings people our way for a reason, truly friends are blessings from God. Friends who are warmer than the California sun make life worth living for

  41. Wow l feel blessed reading this work because l have learnt that a true friend stands by you always no matter the circumstances. Thank you ma for giving me an answer to my question, love you sweet mummy .

    • Love you too, my dear! You are a sweet and gentle girl. Keep up the Christlikeness and rule your world in Jesus’ name. <3

  42. True friendship is when someone knows you better than yourself and takes a position in your best interests in a crisis. Friendship goes beyond just sharing time together, and it is long lasting. Friendship can mean different things to different people.A true friend is committed to speaking truth into your life in every circumstance, Even though you might feel hurt about it and she or he may also feel uncomfortable but at least the truth has been told.A true friend will tell you the truth to your face no matter what. Proverbs 18:24 NIV A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. True friendship is more like a convenant than a contract. Love and support is not ignoring the words you need to here. A true friendship makes you better. The Bible says “iron sharpens iron.” True friends will correct you if needed. Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better an open rebuke than hidden love.” Friends won’t let you injure yourself or others if they can intervene. They won’t remain silent with what you need to hear—and it will be shared in the deepest of love.

  43. Unnecessary competition in friendship is not good ,some are happy when their friends lose.God bless all my friends who have possessed the qualities of true friends.God bless Aunty Edith my teacher and friend.

  44. nowadays, its very difficult to find a true friend and that is why we hear cases of backstabbing and betrayal day by day. it just takes the grace of God to lead us to the right friends with good intentions for us. . i’ve had good friends right from high school and still have them up until today. one time i had some kind of worries and the school had their children’s day celebration coming up the next day or so. because of my state, i decided that i wasnt going to attend. lo and behold, while still in bed going through sadness, my two friends showed up at my house to cheer me up. instead of going to have fun at the party, they came over to be with me throughout the day. they insisted that since i was not going to attend, then there was no need for them to attend too. now that is true friendship. lol

  45. With all these characteristics of a good friend I will say “Good Friends Are Like Stars. You Don’t Always See Them, But You Know They’re Always There.”

  46. Wow! Great post Ma. However, in this our generation, it is hard to get true or best friend(s) considering that your true or best friend also have his or her best friend, who most times won’t be you.
    So, it becomes risky when you share your secrets with this kind of person because you’d end up becoming a thing of laughter.

  47. True friends are very rare even thou when we find one it’s is a blessing. Thank you ma’am for these pointers for with it we could be able to tell a true friend from a fake one. It’s exciting to know Jesus got our back as Christians.

  48. Everybody may appear to be our friends, but who stays in the time of difficulties to encourage you, who is ready to fight alongside with you, keep your darkest secrets wow this are true ways of knowing a true friend

  49. Being a true friend to someone isn’t as easy neither, because sometimes you want to tell them the truth, but at same time you don’t want to hurt them with those truth. We should try and be d best we can in keeping good friendship.

  50. Having good friend can change someone’s life, also having bad ones can also destroy someone’s life. But in all Lord Jesus is the only true friend, who can never fail.

  51. Lord Jesus is the only true friend in time of sorrow, joy and difficulties he is always there!

  52. A friend is one who defends us in time of trouble, the only kind of friend we can have or get is the one who provide our needs and grant us all our heart desires and that can only be Our maker he is the greatest friend we can have because he does not disappoint.

  53. The real friends are always hard to get and easily forgotten it is those bad ones that will always flood around because they need two things from you, your fall or the thing in your pocket,self-centered, while the good ones are always there when you need them willingly to help,and that kind person can only be “Jesus” Thank you because now I know those for me and those against me.

  54. True friends indeed… We ought to be careful the kinds of people we relate with; the people we call friends. Thanks Aunty, for this post. At least, I’ve taken a leaf from this, to know what to term my current friends.

  55. By reading this post, I’m very much convinced that I have true friends. They are all I could ever ask for and I hope that God almighty bless them more than they deserve. A true friend is a rare gem and when you find one, hold him/her tight because it’s a cold world out there.

  56. True friends are not jealous of you. They are not envious of you. When good things comes or happens to you, they are glad and also rejoice with you, hoping that one day there’s will definitely come to them.

  57. Adding to this, a true friend helps you to achieve your dreams in whatever way they can. True friends don’t envy you or spite you behind your back. And true friends are hard to find so when you do find one, hold them tight!

  58. I will say a friend is the extension of our self and also a friend is our strong arm in hard times. The question is what kind of individual make up your friend circle? are you surrounded by opportunist those who are available when there is something. A good friend watch your back keep your secret and most important advices you.

  59. Truly, true friends are rare. Some persons want true friends when they are not a choice’. Some friends are like ‘wolves in sheep clothing’, their true color comes out gradually. Fews weeks ago, a ‘so-called’ friend threatened my life over a little misunderstanding. She was my bosom friend. A person who I called a ‘true friend’.
    To me, time tells who a true friend is. However, Jesus is the ‘truest’ of them all.

  60. Having friends could either make or Mar you. A true friend wouldn’t envy but would rejoice at your glory. Friends like Jonathan are kinda rare. He’d always tell David about his dad plans to kill him, so friends would have stick to their family to hurt their friends. All friendship should be built on Jesus because He giveth wisdom to rule. I want to be a true friend

  61. A true friend is one of the greatest gift and thing that can ever happen to one. When you see all the outline qualities in your friends, hold them so close to you because, they are rare, hard to get and precious to lose. I pray that the good Lord will send true friends to cross our parts and not those that will betray us amen.

  62. True friends are quite hard to detect. Cause most friends are there when everything is good and flee when it is the opposite, so we need to stay with God so he can lead us to the right friend who Will be a pillar to success and not a phony. May the Lord lead us to the right person

  63. wow! Nice and true to the core.. but am bothered Ma… let me ask, can there be a friend so caring, loving, sacrificial and selfless like JESUS John 3:16…. I ask this question because I have heard many said that friend will always determine ones end in life… and looking at it, it is true….
    Also, let me add a friend is that person YOU can TRUST with your deepest and worst secret…

  64. The gift of a true friend, I mean one with the qualities listed above is rare ohhh, when you find one be careful not to let him or go, cos he or she is actually a gift from God.

  65. Thank you ma for this well needed post. Some times we get confused about who is who that is hanging around us and what their true intentions are. With these pointers I’ll be able to sieve out who we actually see as friends and those who stay around for what ever benefits they might be getting.

  66. Hmmm! I believed in what the Igbo’s say “ezi oyi kaa nwanne”. We share our secrets,do everything other.Even when a suitor came for her,she told me everything. But when she was doing the occasion, she did not tell me. May she think i will be an obstacle???. So for now, I don’t really believe in friendship.

  67. Please ma. Permit me to ask do this kind of friends exist anymore,this kind of friends are rare to come by in our world today, indeed real friends watch the back of their friends, treat them as they treat theirselves and above all are selfless, I really enjoyed this story

  68. Oh wow ! I was just reading about friendship last night cos I’ve been in so much confusion, this is so right !!
    Starting from now, I’d start measuring my friendship with people according to this, I also hope and pray that I’m a true friend to my friends.

  69. A true friend is very hard to find ,a true friend is the one that can love you no matter what, he can help you even when you are depressed. A true friend will be fond of his friend and will never allow any harm to come near you. just like David and Jonathan who were known as bossom friends in the Bible. Their friendship was like a bond, it was inseparable even when king saul Jonathan’s father tried to kill David yet, his son Jonathan revealed the plot to David, that is a true friend. Hardly can look beyond these 7 reasons you gave. However a true friend will take you as you are and wants to make you better.

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