Being a true friend is far different than hanging out with someone. (Although taking time to just chill with someone can be a whole lot of fun and a really good way to let our minds and bodies decompress and de-stress.) Being a true friend requires more of us than just having fun and relaxing with someone.

Being a true friend is more than being a casual acquaintance to someone. Or being a good and respectful co-worker. Or even being a really good and thoughtful neighbor.

Being a true friend is a lot more than just being friendly. (Although we all could work just a little bit more on that! With all those around us. Starting right in our own homes, with our own families.)

God’s Word has so much to say about the character and actions of a true friend. Here are just a few passages to think about, pray about, and do something about!

A friend loves at all times… – Proverbs 17:17

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates friends. – Proverbs 17:9

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

Wounds from a friend can be trusted… – Proverbs 27:6

And from our Lord Jesus Christ, we learn what true love and true friendship really are.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:12-14

May we each accept the unfailing, powerful love and fullest act of intimate and outrageously sacrificial friendship that we could ever receive. Jesus laid down His perfect, sinless life for us, while we were still His enemies. Jesus didn’t wait for us to change our attitudes or behaviors towards Him. Jesus didn’t wait for us to be friendly and loving to Him. Jesus was a true friend, a true lover of our souls. And He doesn’t want any of us to die without knowing the saving truth of His love and the power of His friendship.

As we follow Jesus, we are called by Him to: “Love each other as I have loved you.” This is the fullest measure of what being a true friend is. May each of us choose to let God strengthen us and soften us so we will love others as Jesus has loved us – truly loving them in our thoughts, in our words, in our actions and in every circumstance. As we do, we will not only be true friends to those around us, we will be true friends of God!