10 Important Things to Do that will Make You a Better Friend

A list of dos and don'ts, learned from experience, will help you become a better friend. You'll want to share them with your friends - I promise!

If you’re like me, you’ve been blessed with some really wonderful friendships.

And well, you’ve also experienced some that were far less than wonderful.

That’s life, isn’t it?

Some friendships start easily and feel like you’ve known each other forever and others require more effort but are oh – so – worth it!

And sadly, friendships can end – some naturally because of life changes and others painfully because of life choices.

But we learn, don’t we?

Friendships help us learn things about ourselves and yes, they help us learn things about others, too.

I wonder if social media doesn’t give us a distorted view of friendship.

You can make or break a friendship with the click of a button.

It’s easy, right?

Seriously, Facebook friendships require very little effort. Where else can you and I keep up with hundreds of friendships without ever leaving the house?

And oh, the number of friends you and I have . . . now, that’s important. It’s so easy to value quantity over quality and appearances over authenticity.

Add in Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest where followers are the new friends and you get a whole new level of the separating of togetherness.

God made us for community, for closeness … for friendship.

So I want to take a closer look at:

  • What does it mean to be a friend?
  • What is friendship?
  • Why is it important?
  • How does God want for my friendships?

What exactly is a friend anyway?

A friend is defined as:

  • A person attached to another by feelings of affection.
  • A person whom you know, like, and trust.
  • A person with whom you enjoy spending time.

A friend is someone who:

  • Wants what is best for the other.
  • Shows empathy and sympathy, compassion and understanding.
  • Allows individuality without fear of judgment.
  • Understands balance and the importance of give-and-take.

Characteristics of true friendships:

  • Take time to develop.
  • Based on honesty and trust.
  • Reflect kindness and caring.
  • Are not selfish.
  • Don’t repeat problems or struggles to others.
  • Encourages each other’s goals and dreams.
  • _______________ (What would you add?)

10 Important Things to Do that will Make You a Better Friend - Counting My #Blessings #Friends

Biblical definitions of friends:

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17

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

Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Proverbs 26:18-19

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Colossians 3:13

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 12:15–16

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

Wow, wouldn’t it be amazing if all our friendships looked like that!

You see, the truth is…

True friendship values we over me.  

I want to know how well I’m doing, so here are some questions I’m asking myself:

  • Am I always honest with my friends? Are they honest with me?
  • Do I quickly forgive a friend’s flaws? Do they forgive me?
  • Do I talk about my friend’s problems to others? Do they talk about me?
  • Am I quick to help and encourage a friend? Are they helpful and encouraging?
  • Have I invited God into my friendships?
  • Am I willing to make necessary changes to enjoy the blessing of true friendship? What will that look like?

To help, I’ve come up with 10 important qualities needed in every friendship.

A list of dos and don'ts, learned from experience, will help you become a better #friend. #Blessings

10 Important Things to Do that will Make You a Better Friend

1. Be an Encourager, not a Flatterer 

Flattery is just sugar-coated manipulation and no matter how sweetly it’s presented manipulation is selfish and unloving. Encouragement is love in words and action. Go ahead and give compliments generously – but do it for them and be sincere!

2. Be Helpful

Sometimes it’s just a listening ear or a caring note. Other times it may be providing a meal or sitting in a hospital waiting room. Whatever it is . . . as much as it is possible, friends help each other.

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17

3. Be Truthful

Trust is an important and essential part of any close relationship. Lies destroy trust. So tell the truth but do it gently and kindly.

An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Proverbs 24:26

4. Be Compassionate

Show that you care about your friend and their problems without being judgmental.

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

5. Be Respectful

Healthy friendships aren’t clingy. Value each other’s personal space and preferences. Boundaries are a healthy for good friends.

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”
~ Steve Hall

6. Don’t Gossip

Friends shouldn’t gossip. Because the unfortunate truth is … If they will do it with you, they will do it to you.

A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Proverbs 16:28

7. Don’t Judge

You have not had their experiences and you can’t see inside their hearts and minds.

Remember…

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” Luke 6:37

8. Don’t Pry 

If your friend doesn’t want to talk about it—let it go. They’ll talk when they’re ready. 

“True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.” ~ David Tyson Gentry

9. Don’t Envy

You may wish you could enjoy their blessings, but I promise you don’t want their problems. Every life has a blend of good and bad.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

10. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t or Won’t Keep

To the best of your ability be reliable. It’s a trust thing. 

“And may the Lord make us keep our promises to each other, for he has witnessed them.” 1 Samuel 20:23

That’s my list of what is most important.

Of course, I’m also a huge fan of simply having fun and laughing together as often as possible.

Tell me … what’s on your “important” list for being a better friend?

Don’t forget to leave your prayer requests…

May we pray for you

and pray over the list left by our friends.

I’m always looking for stories that will encourage and inspire readers to live in faith, stay faithful in hope, and find joy in loving Jesus and others. If you’re interested in sharing your story here at Counting My Blessings – check out my Contributor Guidelines page

Remember – I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 comments

  1. Rachael says:

    Amazing list! I agree with each point and do my best to be exactly the kind of friend that you described. I love that you also included questions to discern whether it is a healthy friendship to be in based on how our friends treat us as well.

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