12 Important Qualities You Want in a True Friend

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Everyone wants a true friend, but do you know what qualities are important. Do you friends have them? Do you?

In 2011, the United Nations declared July 30th, International Friendship Day; although most countries celebrate on the first Sunday in August.

I think we should celebrate all week! At least, that’s what we’re going to do here at CMB.

Celebrate Friendship – 12 Qualities of a True Friend

1. Patient – A true friend understands you’re no more perfect than they are. They are patient and encourage you in the growth process.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2

2. Kind – A true friend is kind and caring.

Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

3. Trust – A true friend is both trusting and trustworthy. The tell the truth. They keep your secrets and don’t tell you the secrets of others. 

 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13

4. Generous – A true friend gives when and where they can.

5. Humble – A true friend is not boastful or jealous. They celebrate your success and cheer your efforts.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

6. Cheerful – A true friend is positive, upbeat, and pleasant to be around.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22

7. Compassionate – A true friend listens and is understanding when you struggle and genuinely want to help where they can.

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36

8. Forgiving – A true friend quickly forgives and is not easily offended.

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

9. Integrity – A good friend does what is right and good and encourages others to do the same.

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. Proverbs 12:26

10. Hope –  A true friend maintains hope and believe for the future of their friendships and their friends. They encourage their friends by sharing hope with them.

11. Perseverance – A true friend never gives up.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7

12. Love – A true friend always wants what is best, believes what is best, does what is best. 

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4:11

The love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, is often read at weddings and of course, it applies beautifully to a marriage relationship. I believe the best marriages are also great friendships.

The 12 Qualities of True Friendship can be found in verses 4–7:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

So, take a look at your friendships. 

Are your friends true friends?

One way to tell if a friend is a true friend . . . look at the way they treat strangers, people in service jobs, and their other friends. At some point, they will treat you the way they treat others.

The qualities Paul shared in 1 Corinthians 13 are not once in a while behaviors; they are character qualities. And although it’s true, we are all imperfect and in need of forgiveness on occasion. Consistency determines character.

Are you a true friend?

Please pray with me: Father, forgive me for not consistently being a true friend. Help me. Give me courage to consistently live out the qualities of love in my friendships. Strengthen me to love as You want me to love. Give me wisdom in all my relationships. Make me a blessing to my friends. Thank you for blessing me through them. In the precious name of our Savior and Friend, Jesus. Amen.

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  1. I love this, Deb. Celebrating friendships with you this week.

    1. Thanks so much Beth! Enjoy a friend-filled fun week!

  2. I read recently that kids believe parents value achievement over caring for others (Washington Post). This reminder about the elements of friendship is crucial for reviving an apparently diminishing “art form”.

    1. I wonder if social media and popularity have made followers and virtual friends have influenced this trend as well. It’s interesting that they believe achievement over caring is a factor. That would say that competition is also a factor. A good goal might be to simply do your best and help others to do the same. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing this with us. Blessings!

  3. I love diving into His word, so I appreciate how you had Bible verses for most points. My writings have a generous peppering of His words in them because I can’t say it any better than He can! 🙂 Blessings!

    1. You’re right Kaylene. His Word gives me a truth that blesses each day with strength, peace, hope, and joy. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  4. Thanks for this list – it’s great timing as today I posted about when a friendship ends! Ha! 🙂 Blessings!

    1. Oh Michelle, I can’t wait to come over and read your post. Thanks for stopping to say “hi.” Many blessings to you!

  5. I especially appreciated this one: “One way to tell if a friend is a true friend . . . look at the way they treat strangers, people in service jobs, and their other friends. At some point, they will treat you the way they treat others.” Also your prayer at the end. Thank you Deb!

    1. Thank you Kathleen. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that one the hard way. I used to say to myself, “I wish she wouldn’t do that, but she’d never do it to me.” I was wrong.

      Enjoy a blessing-filled week!

  6. Thanks for sharing this wonderful, challenging list. I appreciate this great tip: “Look at the way they treat strangers, people in service jobs, and their other friends. At some point, they will treat you the way they treat others.” I’m visiting from Enforced Rhythms. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Renee. You know that is something I’ve known for ages, but still found myself making excuses for friends at times. Which reminds me of something I used to tell my children, “Be nice to everyone. Be friends with everyone at school (work, church, etc.), but use wisdom when choosing the people to whom you invest your personal time.” Blessings to you!

  7. I do have truer than true friends…and some not-so-true more surface friendships. This is a wonderful list. I’m praying through it. ~Pamela

    1. What a blessing to have true friends. And it’s also good to know that some friendships are more surface. Sounds like you enjoy the best of both. Thanks for taking the time to stop and share your thoughts.

  8. Friendship, as one of the commoner gifts, can easily be overlooked, I think. Thank you for refining my viewpoint on it. When I take time to focus on the qualities you’ve listed, I realize what a rich woman I truly am to have friends like these.

    Thanks for joining us at Unforced Rhythms.

    1. Oh Kelli, That’s wonderful. Having the blessing of true friends does make you rich in love and the joy they give. Thanks for visiting and stopping to say “hi.”

  9. That’s a great standard against which we can examine our ability to be a friend. I often think of the love that others show me in these terms but how often do I measure myself against these words? Thanks for challenging and encouraging us, Deb!

    1. You’re right Holly, These are the friendship qualities I want to have. I don’t want to hold others to this and not challenge myself. It’s like the speck and log. Gotta keep that log out of my eye. Blessings to you!

  10. What a great list and way to live! I have an amazing friend, and I am going to try to be a better friend to her! 🙂

    1. Sarah, What a wonderful blessing to have a truly amazing friend. I’m sure if we asked her she would say the same about you! Blessings and hugs!

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