On Being a Good Friend

On Being a Good Friend

Recently one of my closest friends, Machelle, moved to a different state.

Before she left, our close group of friends did a photo shoot together so that we could send her off with some great pictures of all of us together.

Of course, when they came back from the photographer, we all started posting a couple on Facebook. They were such great pictures that captured all of us and our individual senses of humor, our personalities, and our love for each other.

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But something kind of odd happened when we started posting them online. I started getting a lot of questions and comments about them. Of course, there were the obligatory “what a beautiful picture!” or “such beautiful ladies!” comments because let’s face it — they’re a great looking group of girls, and bonus – we had a magical photographer. But then there were some more private comments that quite a few people made in person.

“I wish I had a group of friends like that.”

“How did you find such a good group of friends?”

“I saw those pictures of you and your friends online. What a cool thing – I’m so jealous of your friendships.”

“I’ve never even had one friend that I was close to like that.”

“I see you and your friends online sometimes. How do you get friends like that?”

I know that I have been so very blessed in the department of friendships — both near and far. It’s been years and years since I have been without a wonderful social circle around me.

But true friendships don’t come easily, and they don’t come cheap.

There’s a verse in the Bible that is thrown around a lot about friendship. It’s in John, and it’s Jesus talking. He says,

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

When most people use it, they use it in the context of actually laying down your life for a friend — dying for a friend. Taking the place of a friend in a moment of courage and deep love. This is what Jesus did for us, and He calls us His friends — an unspeakable and grace-filled honor.

And while that is so amazing, and it’s true that if you were to die for a friend, it would be a gigantic expression of love on behalf of your friend, it’s a rare occurrence to need to die for a friend.

What makes such a good friend and is the greatest expression of friendship is setting your life aside in favor of a friend’s life.

Your time for theirs.

Your needs for theirs.

Your wants for theirs.

You have to be present for all the things. Good things. Bad things. Hard things. Fun things. Silly things. Heartbreaking things.

You need to be a friend who knows their favorites. Someone who will lovingly tell the truth. You must be able to keep a secret.

To be a good friend, you show up for their life.

You see their talents and encourage their passions. You pray for them. You want their greatest good always.

You don’t have great friends without being a great friend.

True, lasting, and deep Spartan friendship is a two-way street with lots of sacrifice and vulnerability and accountability and lots of time. It requires forgiveness and grace and mercy.

To have a meaningful friendship is costly for both friends.

It’s knowing that your friend needs help with some construction at the office and jumping on a plane and working for 3 days straight.

It’s getting the text, “He left.” and showing up with wine and chocolate and tissues. Then spending the next months and years working together to rebuild the woman and the life.

It’s hearing the words, “It’s cancer,” and standing with her and saying, “I’m with you and I won’t leave you. I’ll fight for you. I’ll be your strength when you don’t have it. We can do this together.”

It’s dropping everything and flying to your friend’s hospital bedside when they’ve been in a car accident, and taking turns with her husband sleeping in the chair.

It’s being available for middle of the night phone calls.

It’s telling a friend, “I hear you and I understand your side, but I think that this time, you’re wrong and he’s right.”

It’s showing up with packing boxes and tape and snacks and a can-do attitude to help your friend move.

It’s saying, “I’m so sorry I hurt you,” sometimes and “I forgive you,” just as many times.

It’s the Tuesdays, and the birthdays, and being present even when you weren’t asked.

It’s painting living rooms, babysitting, nights out, and choosing time together over laundry.

Laying down your life isn’t necessarily dying.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

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P.S. I’m obviously super passionate about friendship. I’ve talked about it before, and if you want to read some more of my thoughts,   click here and here.



about 5 years ago

Once again, you bring tears to my eyes. What a special gift to have such friendships. You are truly blessed.



about 5 years ago

You are an amazing friend and I'm totally putting that verse by the framed pic of us :)



about 5 years ago

I like that you are saying "On BEING a Good Friend", not having one. This is encouragement to me to show up more. If I am missing a friend I need to make time and space for her.


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