‘You can trust a friend who corrects you.’ Proverbs 27:6 CEV
Here are two ‘superglue’ qualities that can permanently cement any friendship: honesty and loyalty. The Bible says, ‘You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.’ A real friend may upset you by telling you the truth, but he or she will tell you the truth nonetheless. They may not always tell you what you want to hear, but if they truly love you, they’ll tell you what you need to hear. In the short run it may hurt, but in the long run it will help you.
When you want to measure a relationship to determine whether it qualifies as a genuine friendship, here are two questions you should ask the other person:
- Can I trust you enough to be totally honest with me?
- Can I trust you enough to be totally honest with you?
Only a true friendship expects and can survive such mutual honesty. The other quality involved in keeping a friend is loyalty. ‘There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV) The word stick refers to how fabric is sewn and embroidered together. It’s a picture of just how closely knit one friend should be to another. Loyalty is the one thing a person should never have to question about his or her friend.
A true friend will always be your deference lawyer before he or she becomes your judge. There’s no such thing as a ‘fair-weather friend’. You don’t need friends in fair weather; you need them when the weather gets nasty. A ‘fair-weather friend’ is no friend at all.
Go deeper: Ex 16-18, John 1:43-51, Ps 110, Prov 26:13-16