“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) We all have friends. Whether close friends, or mere acquaintances, we just don’t like to do things by ourselves, nor do we like to always be alone. This desire to be with others is not wrong, for God Himself placed it in us. It is alright to have friends that you count on to be there, just as it is right for us to count on God. “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9) I have blessed to have several good friends in my life, and, believe me, it sure does help to have someone to talk to. In life, there are many difficulties that come up, and we need someone to pour out our hearts too. Thus, we need to make sure we keep our friendships strong, for an offended friend is harder to win back than a strong city!(Proverbs 18:19) Here are a few tips for keeping all your friendships strong.
The love of a friend is one of the strongest bonds in the universe. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) You should value your friends above your own happiness. Your friendship should not be broken by a small mistake, or a misunderstanding, for a true friend will love no matter what happens. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times“, and this should be your goal as a Godly friend.
A good friend is utterly trustworthy. If you are constantly blabbing all your friend’s secrets to the world, then you are not a dependable friend. A secret is something that your friend does NOT want anyone else to know! If you are known as a gossip, then people will not want to be your friend. ” A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” (Proverbs 16:28) Learn to show discretion with your words, and you will never regret it.
A good friend is honest, yet not cruel. It is not necessary to say everything that comes in your head, especially if it will hurt the other person’s feelings. However, we should never lie. You can either say nothing at all, or find something nice to say. If you are close friends with someone,and want to keep them from embarrassing themselves, find a kind way to put it. It’s better for them to hear it from you than from a stranger. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) Be honest about yourself. Do not keep huge secrets from your friends. It’s better to be momentarily embarrassed than to lose your friend because of a web of lies. If you want to keep your friends, you will be truthful.
A true friend honestly care about YOU, not just about what you can give them. As much as possible, you should try to be uplifting and positive, not dreary and sad. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Give some positive feedback! “You look nice today!” “Is that new?” “Good job!” “Congratulations!” It won’t hurt you to say something nice for a change! Obviously, you won’t be laughing and singing all the time, but frowning should not be your default face. Also, care about what is going on in their lives: don’t just talk about yourself all the time. Be considerate of their feelings. If they hate it when you make fun of Donald Duck, then don’t make fun of Donald Duck! Believe me, it won’t hurt you. Don’t be a stumbling block in your friendship by constantly doing things that you know they don’t appreciate. Go the extra mile for your friendship.
Don’t ever forget to be thankful that you have friends. So often we don’t realize how much we need someone until they are gone. Enjoy every moment you have with your friends, because you never know when they might not be there anymore. Don’t let yourself waste the precious time that you have over childish squabbles and quarrels. Turn the other cheek, you don’t always have to be right. Let the other person have their way sometimes: it’s not all about you. Don’t take a week to get over a minor disagreement, and don’t get bitter because they didn’t send you a get-well card when you stubbed your toe. Often, friendships break because of the littlest things: but it doesn’t have to be that with you. Forgive freely, be caring, be dependable, love always, and you can have a strong friendship.