It’s important that you understand the characteristics of a true friend if you are going to build a friendship that lasts. Christian friends are awesome because you have shared values, and you know that you can share your secrets with them without receiving harsh or unhelpful judgment. Instead, if you build the right kind of friendships, you will have friends that act out of love.
So, what is a Christian friendship like, and what are the characteristics of a great friend?
Have you been wondering why God created friends? Are you looking for the right kind of friend to lead you toward the Lord Jesus Christ and not toward the ways of the world?
Because a true friend loves you with all of his or her heart, you know that he or she will gently correct you and make you a better person. Close friends tend to bring out the best in one another.
This article will look at the traits of a Christian friend and key tips to building a Christian friendship. If you want to know how to be a good Christian friend, you’ve got the answers here!
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. – Matthew 7:12a (NLT)
What is a Christian Friend?
A Christian friendship occurs when two people have a mutual purpose of growing in Christ together. Both individuals strive to live according to God’s will and complement each other’s lives because of it.
They have the same purpose in life, so there are many similar areas of interest. For example, they both probably put their faith as a top priority.
If you are in a spiritual friendship, you probably know that you and your friend both believe the truth – Jesus Christ is our savior. He died for our salvation! What great news!
It’s also awesome that you can share this news and your faith with your Christian friend. You both love the Lord and want to live according to His purpose.
With a Christian friend, you can grow together in your faith. You can read the Bible together, pray for and with one another, and praise God’s name together in worship, song, or conversation. Since you both have faith as a top priority, you know that your friend will give you sound, Christian advice, something that comes from his or her heart and soul.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. – Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)
How to Be a Good Christian Friend (Key Traits)
While all of these traits are good to have in a friendship, they are not all necessities. You may have a lifelong friend who does not communicate much or who isn’t that much fun. Some of these are essential traits, but not all of them are must-have traits for everyone. When you think about the right friend for you, consider what is most important to your life.
If you are the one looking to make or keep a friendship, you should examine all of these traits to see where you are falling short. Think about what areas you excel in and give yourself a pat on the back for doing a great job in some areas. However, you should also look at the areas that need improvement and work on those things.
By examining your shortcomings and key characteristics, you are making yourself a stronger person because you can see where you are weak and are willing to work on those areas. Do some self-reflection to determine your traits. Then, follow up with some self-improvement so that you can grow in the traits you struggle with.
As a good friend, you should not gossip about your friends; instead, you should keep their secrets, as a true friend does. Trustworthiness can break or make a real friendship. If your friends cannot trust you to keep your mouth shut about their private affairs, they are not likely to want to stay friends with you going forward.
Your friends should be able to depend on you to not gossip about them behind their backs. If you are talking about someone behind their back, you are not being a good friend to that person. It may be fun and interesting to gossip about one another, but it certainly won’t help you grow your friendships into the relationships you want them to be.
You may be wondering how many friends count as true friends in a crisis. According to one source, the average person has over 20,000 social acquaintances, including social media friends, sends over 100 Christmas cards, but only trusts about 10 people in a crisis. That means that we should certainly invest ourselves with those we trust.
A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. – Proverbs 11:13 (NLT)
Someone who is reliable does what they say they will. You can depend on them. In fact, with a reliable friend, you feel a certain amount of security because you know they will be where they said they would be. Misunderstandings are far and few between with reliable friends, which can help put your mind at ease.
A dependable friend is also going to stand up for you when you are not around to defend yourself. They will always have your back, which can be quite a feeling of relief, especially if you have a lot of mutual friends. A reliable friend comes through for you when all is said and done because they are loyal and great like that.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. – Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT)
A true friend is loyal and doesn’t desert you when the going gets rough. Loyalty is a crucial value in any relationship. If someone easily ditches you at the hint of a disagreement, they are not being very loyal to your friendship. A loyal friend has your back and will always be there for you when you need a friend.
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. – Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
You want to be yourself with your friends, so be genuine. Also, don’t just sugarcoat what you want to say because a real friend is able to be open and honest about things. They may speak from the heart when they tell you things you may not want to hear, but their honesty is what you need in a real friendship.
You can trust a friend who corrects you. – Proverbs 27:6a (CEV)
With empathy, you put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You might have a strong degree of emotional intelligence, meaning you are able to identify and manage the emotions you have and those of those around you. This means being open-minded and willing to change your perspective based on what your friend says or does.
If you can easily relate to your friend’s feelings, you may be an empathetic person. Try to imagine what your friend is going through, if you want to be more empathetic. Imagine the situation was reversed, and you were the one with the problem. By personalizing it, you are now showing empathy, leading you to greater emotional intelligence!
We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. – Romans 15:1 (NLT)
What’s great about real friends is that they do not judge you when you tell them your secrets. You can be vulnerable with your true friends because they understand you and your point of view.
They don’t get easily offended because they know you and what your intentions are. They know when you don’t mean what you say or do things out of character.
We all make mistakes in relationships – regardless if they are friendships or romantic relationships. That’s just part of life. No one is perfect.
A good friend knows this and has an understanding attitude when it comes to conflict in your relationship. They are able to look at things fairly and not get upset over every little infraction.
One way to be understanding is to practice being agreeable. Studies show that people who are agreeable are much more likable! They don’t have to be right all the time; instead, they can listen and be empathetic as they understand what their friend is trying to say. They find ways to agree rather than argue over every detail.
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! – Psalm 133:1 (NLT)
A Good Listener
A true friend does not just zone out when you are talking. Instead, he or she will listen intently, asking relevant questions as a means of showing interest. A good listener doesn’t just hear with his or her ears; they are able to discern meaning from what is being said and can gain insight from what is discussed.
This insight comes in handy when you are done talking because a good listener is able to recap what was talked about and give applicable and relevant advice. You wouldn’t enjoy telling your best friend a lengthy story or problem, only for them to talk about something unrelated when you finished. You’d expect advice or acknowledgment.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. – James 1:19 (NLT)
Whether it’s good times or bad, a real friend is there to support you. You should be comfortable being yourself around your friend, be able to share your best side and worst moments, and be able to support them when the chips are down. Being supportive goes hand in hand with being trustworthy.
You know your friend has your back in a supportive friendship. They are “there” for you when things are not going according to plan, but they can also support you when you are seeing success in life.
According to Psychology Today, celebrating the good fortune of friends without having bitterness or envy is just as important as supporting someone who is depressed.
Likewise, when we are unsure of a situation – good or bad – we often need clarity from good friends. We need someone in our lives that is there through the thick and thin of it all – someone who isn’t afraid to give 110% of themselves for us! The best friends go above and beyond the call of duty!
Never abandon a friend. – Proverbs 27:10a (NLT)
A fun person is not full of negativity all the time. This doesn’t mean that a friendship is made of only good times, but if one person is always seeing the bad side of life, they will likely bring you down with them. This can often lead to an unhealthy or even dysfunctional relationship. No one wants constant negativity.
Your friend may not be the funniest person in the world; they don’t have to be; however, they are usually somewhat enjoyable to be around! If you have a friend that you don’t have a good time with, you probably don’t want to spend much time with them. Be positive and uplifting around your friends when you can!
Psychology Today explains that an essential ingredient to a successful friendship is the ability to see the humor in life. Someone who is fun to be around is more likable than a sour apple or Debbie Downer. The last thing you want is to be brought down further when you are calling a friend for help in an emergency. Be positive and uplifting!
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. – Romans 12:15 (NLT)
A caring and compassionate person is genuine and really feels your pain when you are hurting. Their heart goes out to you in times of trouble. Likewise, you should feel this way about them when the roles are reversed.
Really, a one-sided friendship doesn’t work well. Instead, be there for your friend when he or she needs you.
Someone with a good heart is sweet and thoughtful. They think about more than themselves all the time. Don’t get me wrong; self-assurance is a great trait to have, but when it comes to a friend, you want someone who cares about your well-being also. On that note, self-confidence or any similar trait is quite contagious in a friendship!
If you are friends with someone who is self-confident or kind and caring (or both), those traits are likely to rub off on you the more time you spend with them. It’s like being around a foreign accent; you tend to mold yourself by what you are around. For this reason alone, you should choose your friends wisely!
Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:24 (NLT)
A Great Communicator
Communication is a two-way street. You should be able to listen when your friend is sharing and vice versa. If you are unable to communicate with one another, there isn’t much room for a friendship.
According to Business Insider, the content of your conversation is important, as well. Small talk just doesn’t cut it for true friendship.
Instead, consider talking about things that matter; have meaningful conversations. Find ways to connect with your friend and self-disclose those things that are important to your life. This can strengthen the bond you share with this person. You might want to talk about your faith and how you first became a Christian or listen to their story.
Real conversations about how close you are to God and what your beliefs are, and why you have them take time. Don’t expect a couple of “hang-out sessions” to be enough. Really invest your time in your friend and talk about what matters in life. When you share like this, the bond that forms will tie you together for life.
Be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. – 1 Corinthians 1:10b (NLT)
Humility means that you are modest and able to put others first. You do not brag about yourself or make sure you are the most important person in the room.
A good friend does not have an oversized ego. Instead, he or she will take their turn. This kind of modesty speaks a lot about a person’s character.
A humble person knows about balance – the give and take – that is required for a healthy relationship, too. They are able to let go and let you have the floor when it’s your turn to shine. This can be a great quality in a person when you need a cheerleader by your side or someone to listen to you talk about the sorrow you feel in your heart.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
A good friend does not hold grudges. Instead, they forgive easily and love freely. Misunderstandings are bound to happen; no one gets along 100% of the time. However, in a healthy friendship, a friend can easily let go of worries for the sake of your friendship.
Forgiveness and letting go of things is crucial in a relationship.
Science shows that we often give up too easily on relationships. We start with expectations that are too high, and then we ditch a person the second they don’t live up to our ridiculous standards. Of course, we think we are being fair when really we are expecting perfection in friendships. We give up so quickly that we don’t maintain lasting relationships.
When we do enter a friendship and conflict arises, we often gossip and allow frustrations to boil over rather than trying to seek out a resolution. Instead of getting snarky over unresolved issues, it’s important in real friendships to be understanding and forgiving of each other’s flaws. We all have imperfections!
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)
Often, in a genuine friendship, unconditional love occurs. This means that they do not expect anything back in return for the love they show. Sometimes, the truth can be hard, but a true friend will give you an honest word because he or she loves you. They genuinely care about your well-being and how things turn out for you in life.
With love comes a well-balanced relationship – one where there is both giving and taking. A good friend knows how to do both with care. With unconditional love, there is much giving without expectations of taking in return, but this is not always the healthiest of relationships. A solid friendship has both giving and taking by both individuals.
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. – John 15:12 (NLT)
A good Christian friend has shared values with you. You both put your faith as a top priority and live according to the same basic rules in life. A godly friend may correct you when you are wrong, but he or she will also be there for you when you are wanting to put God first in life. They understand what you value the most in life!
When you find a friend that has the same beliefs as you, you are likely to get along quite well because you have a lot in common! These aren’t just simple things, either; these are beliefs, values, and interests that matter – that are all that life is made of! When you find another Christian friend, you will know that things just feel right between you two!
In fact, you’ll likely feel less like strangers the more time you spend with one another. Instead, you’ll feel a sense of belonging, togetherness, and unity that you may not find with your other friends. Having a spiritual bond can mold you together in this life and the next. That’s pretty exciting!
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. – Proverbs 12:26 (NLT)
A patient friend does not allow distractions to come in the way of your friendship. They patiently listen when you talk and know when it’s their turn to be quiet and hear what you have to say. Also, they are able to be gentle with you – no matter what you are going through. They might say things that are difficult to hear at times, but they do it carefully.
Often, they can soothe you with their words of kindness because they understand you. They have a good idea of how you will react to certain news, so when they break unpleasant things to you, they are likely to do so in a touching and careful manner. If you are a tough person, they may know that you can handle anything!
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Colossians 3:12 (NLT)
What are the Secrets to a Strong Friendship?
Key Secret #1 – A good friend makes time for you.
It’s really hard to be in a friendship if one of you is too busy for the other person. For a true, healthy friendship to be afoot, you’ll want to make time for your friend. Likewise, they should put you as a priority in their life.
It takes time to make a friendship that lasts a lifetime or, as some say, a “bestie!” To make a best friend, you must put in the hours.
According to one study, it takes about 50 hours to make an acquaintance a casual friend, about 40 hours to make that friend a “real friend,” and about 200 hours before that real friend is a best friend! That’s nearly 300 hours you’ve invested in a person! Make sure they are worthy of your time, but also realize the time it takes to make a bestie!
Real friendship takes time and energy, so make the time and effort for your friends. Otherwise, you will find yourself alone, wondering why you don’t have many friends to turn to.
Realize that it takes a bit of work to make a relationship last. You can’t just push it aside and expect it to flourish. Be there for your friends, and you can expect the same from them.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – John 13:34-35 (NLT)
Key Secret #2 – Christian friends offer gentle correction.
What’s great about a Christian friend is he or she will offer you their godly advice when the moment calls for it. If you are headed down the wrong path, a spiritual friend will try to offer you sound advice to lead you the right way. Because they care about your well-being, they want you to stay the course and continue living a Christian life.
Good friends don’t argue for argument’s sake; rather, they try to be agreeable and enjoy the time you spend with each other. However, when the time comes for correction, a loving friend will surely speak up. Real friends are mindful of their corrections, though. They don’t correct you in a spiteful manner, but they make sure you are held accountable for your actions.
Because a true friend supports you by either confirming your thoughts and ideas, or by providing another way of seeing things.
According to the Huffington Post, genuine friends give gentle honesty. Because you have established trust, you know your friend will be open and straightforward and speak what’s on their mind. This security is a treasure!
A truly good friend will openly correct you. – Proverbs 27:5 (CEV)
Key Secret #3 – A best friend often makes you a better person.
A true friend will be a positive influence in your life. They may not always have a positive attitude, but they will shine in the areas where you are weak. The opposite may be true, as well; you may be strong in the areas where your friend is not.
What’s great about the best friendship is that you typically complement one another. They may even make you a better person!
The Huffington Post explains that real friends make us want to be the best version of ourselves because of the encouragement they offer. We want to make them proud of us! Not only do we trust them with our deepest secrets, but we often look up to our best friends as role models – someone we want to be more like.
A jaw-dropping friendship is one where you become the best version of yourself because your friend has helped you grow as a person! If you want a better life, make sure you surround yourself with people who bring out the greatest qualities in you. Likewise, learn to be a friend that pulls the positive traits of others out in them.
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. – Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I attract Christian friends?
Be a shining example of Christ wherever you go! You never know when you’ll run into someone who could be a potential best friend, so always be positive and friendly! Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t, but you can attract spiritual friends anywhere!
How do you grow a strong friendship?
One of the best ways to grow a friendship is to trust your friend with confidences that you have rarely or never shared with anyone else. When the two of you share secrets, it bonds you together in a new and special way.
How do you know if you have a real friend?
You can communicate with a true friend. Really, you aren’t having much of a friendship if the two of you do not talk. A real friendship involves talking back and forth. Your friends should be able to confide in you and vice versa.
What are 5 of the qualities of a good friend?
A good friend is good at communication, is caring and compassionate, has integrity, holds similar values, and listens closely when you share. With a Christian friend, you are likely to have the same priorities of putting God first in your lives.
Why do I struggle with making friends?
Many adults struggle at making friends because they don’t have places to go where it’s easy to make new friends or find someone like them. Also, people often get set in their ways as they get older and aren’t as open-minded as they once were. Try being open and friendly wherever you go!
So, we’ve covered how to be a good Christian friend by listing the traits you need to have and the tips you need to follow to go above and beyond in your spiritual friendship.
What is your point of view when it comes to a spiritual friendship? What traits did I leave off? I’d love to hear your opinion! Leave a comment so that our readers can learn more!
Don’t forget to check out my other articles on Christian life and friendships! Plus, I’ve got a number of free resources for you and a few bonuses in my shop, so take some time and scroll around the website! We are happy to have you here!
The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. – Proverbs 11:30 (NLT)