15 September 2011

There are friends then there are friends...

A couple of years ago when Internet Cafe Devotions was hosting a weekly series called Cafe Chat I attempted to answer the following question:
Name 3 qualities or characteristics of a good/close friend. Explain why the qualities or characteristics you listed are important to you in your friendships.
I wasn't expecting this question to move my heart to dig so deeply.

Integrity -- "Integrity may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. The term "hypocrisy" is used in contrast to integrity" from Wikipedia

Transparency -- "Transparency, as used in the humanities and Pilatian theories, when used in a social context, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a "transparent" object is one that can be seen through." from Wikipedia

Love -- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

It does not seem possible for me to have a genuine friendship if the people involved are not genuine as well. When I invest myself in a relationship I am looking for something more than icing on a cake, I'm looking for bread, for meat, for accountability. I have known many women who I can enjoy spending time with, having fun and sharing a moment, but if it never goes any deeper than that, they may join my list of girlfriends but they do not become what I consider a good friend or someone I enter into a covenant relationship with.

A covenant friend is consistent and true to who God created them to be, bearing the mark of integrity. A covenant friend will allow me to see who they are, on good days and bad. That kind of transparency builds trust and history. It allows me to heed the words of the Apostle Paul:

Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief]. Romans 12:15 Amplified

A covenant friend will speak to me about the hard things in life and because I know they are speaking in love I am able to receive their words. For the same reason, they allow me to speak into their life also.

What qualities do you seek in a good friend?


Jamming with Bonnie on the topic of friendship


floyd said...

Grounded down to earth, not pretentious, and not selfish is a good place to start I think. God is the cornerstone of any lasting relationship I think.

Lisa notes... said...

A covenant friend. I've not thought of friendship in those terms, but why not? It's what it is, and it's the kind of friendship God offers us.

I also really need genuineness in a friendship. Without it, it's hard to have solid ground to build up on.

Anonymous said...

that is a cute photo!

Nikole Hahn said...

It kind of just happens. It's a kindship...a drawing towards that person and the stuff you mentioned..I find there when kinship happens. It is wise to have lots of acquaintainces, wise friends, but I only have a couple of best friends, first and foremost, my husband. :o)

Bonnie Gray said...

I need grace in a covenant friendship. A ton of it. Because I've had friends that didn't have very much. And with my sensitive heart, I can really get hurt. I need a friend who can give me the freedom to be a work-in-progress, so I can share the journey. I love reading your 3, Firefly. They really go together, fortifying a strong friendship!

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