My wife and I recently went back to the great state of Florida to visit some really good friends and celebrate a 40th birthday. The couple that we were visiting are some of our favorite people in the world and we love hanging out with them. I used to work in ministry with the husband and over the years we’ve become really good friends. On my way home from Florida I started to reflect back on why I love this guy and appreciate his friendship so much and one particular situation during the visit stood out to me.
In preparation for the big 40th birthday party, my friend and I went to the mall to see if we could find him a shirt that actually fit … he’s a power lifter, therefore his upper body is ENORMOUS and normal shirts don’t seem to fit. As we were driving down the road engaged in compelling conversation, he kept glancing over at me as I was talking. His face seemed completely focused on what I was saying, however he quickly pointed out what was truly on his mind.
“Dude, you have a huge booger in your nose!”
At that moment I realized that he wasn’t as interested in what I was saying because there was an issue that needed to be taken care of first. Even though it may have been mildly embarassing, it would have been far more embarassing if I had went out in public with an abnormally large bat in the cave.
Whether we like it or not, we all need somebody in our lives that will tell us when we have a booger in our nose. Or more importantly, when we have a major issue in our lives that needs attention. A true friend will bring your attention to things that need corrected in your life because they want the best for you. As men of integrity it is incredibly important that we discover the people in our lives that will be true friends through any situation and support our journey to be all that God has called us to be.
How do you know when somebody is a good friend? How do you know when you can really count on them? Selfless friendship comes in many shapes and sizes but I’ve listed a few basic characteristics of true friends and the values they possess. I encourage you to read through these and consider whether or not you have someone like this in your life. Trust me, the temptations and struggles of this world were never meant to be faced alone.
True friends ask the tough questions
One of the biggest characteristics of a good friend is that they ask the tough questions. When someone avoids the tough questions because it might make things awkward, they are essentially saying “I’m more worried about my own personal comfort than your overall well-being”. It takes a selfless attitude to shine light on an uncomfortable issue. So when somebody gets all up in your business, try to realize that it’s out of selfless concern for you and how you’re living your life.
True friends are always honest with their feelings
Sometimes we have things in our lives that need pointed out. If I have a booger in my nose, then I need to know that regardless of how embarassing it may be. Just like the major issues in our lives, we need to be called out sometimes and put in check. If I’m hanging out with my good friend, and I catch him checking out some woman on the side of the road, I’m going to call him out. Not because I feel like being a jerk, but because I am genuinely concerned about his integrity and where his heart is.
True friends are strong and secure in the friendship
A secure individual does what is right regardless of how it makes someone else feel in the moment. An insecure person is self-involved and they let what other people think about them influence the amount of truth they tell.
True friends take themselves out of the situation
In order to help others it’s often necessary to remove ourselves from the situation and focus solely on the other person’s needs. Truly loving someone means that you remove all expectations, all preconceptions, and focus 100% on what the other person is experiencing.
Hopefully as you’ve read this post, you are thinking about the people in your lives and whether or not they have any of these characteristics. If you have identified someone in your life like this, then I encourage you to reach out to them and let them in. If you don’t have anyone in your life that meets these criteria, I suggest putting yourself in social situations where you would have a good chance of meeting someone like this and developing a friendship. Small groups at church are a great place to start. You’ll be in a social environment with like-minded individuals and before you know it, you’ll have all kinds of great friends.
We all have boogers in our lives that need removed and we need people that will truthfully point them out and make sure we’re keeping our “nose clean”!
A Few Things To Think About
Do you have someone in your life (other than your spouse) that you can count on?
What characteristics do you think make up a good friend?
Do you consider yourself a good friend?
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