7 Characteristics of a True and Good Friend


A true and good friend is rare to find- as rare and valuable as precious metals (Proverbs 31:10). Solomon, the wisest man, helps us to identify a true and good friend. I was inspired to write this after hearing this cheerful, upbeat and wise song by Sovereign Grace Music:

Using E-sword, I searched for passages in Proverbs that speaks about true and good friends. Let us take a look at seven of their characteristics.


1.  A true friend keeps his promises. (Proverbs 6:1)- He keeps his word if he has pledged to you, or has co-signed to become your co-creditor. In the same manner, he is careful not to make impulsive promises. A husband or a wife, is an ultimate lifetime friend. When he or she makes the vow before the throne, he or she will keep that vow till death make them apart. He is careful not to lose your trust through broken promises. He makes sure that he gives promises he can keep. A true friend is quick to reconcile when a trust is breached.


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2. Adversity does not separate a true friend (Proverbs 17:17). A friend loves at all times-whether in good times or in bad times. The strength of this bond lies in the fact that this love is constant and stable. This love is Agape Love in Greek. It is the Biblical Love originating from the Creator Himself. It is unconditional love. Agape Love is not “I love you if….” but it is “I love you even if….” This love is there in prosperity and success, but this love is also there in times of great sorrow, poverty, failure and disgrace. Shallow friends love you in the summer, but forget you in the winter. They party with you during festivities but avoid you during the storms. But a true friend sticks with you, he is a brother or she is a sister to you in times of adversity.  A true friend is loyal and faithful with you whether through thick or thin. She will remain there when life gets tough.


3. A true friend cultivates friendship (Proverbs 18:24). He “shows himself friendly.” Authentic friends invest, sacrifice and can afford to lose their comforts to connect with you. If one wishes to find affection, she must as well give it to others. She makes time to develop and strengthen the bond. She is patient all along, full of hope that friendships will last.


4. A true friend gives painful but faithful rebukes rather than flattery (Proverbs 27:6).  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of the enemy are deceitful.” It is good for us to be reproved by our friends, rather than be flattered by unreal friends.
“Open rebuke is better than secret love.”(Prov. 27:5). True love deals plainly and truthfully. He does not compliment wrongdoing to the cost of the ruin of our soul. She cannot afford to harm you and will take pains even it offends initially. Just like a scalpel that removes cancer, it is painful, but it is for our good- so is a true friend. It is dangerous to be caressed by the deceitful words of the enemy, we cannot put our confidence upon her words and advice. 


5. A true friend offers mutual counsel (Proverbs 27:17). “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” A true friend helps make you wise. A true friend cannot afford win-lose conflict management. They always find ground to have it a win-win situation. A true friend enables your ideas to become sharper and more acute. She won’t overlook your wrong. She will offer advice, but will also also listen to you when she needs one. Not all the time she speaks and you listen, she secures mutual relationship.


6. A true friend will not lead you to sin (Proverbs 1:10). He will help you do the right thing. He cannot suffer you to be harmed by a morally-unacceptable or inappropriate action. Best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, as long as they are true friends, they will not lead you to commit foolish things. When you fall down, they are quick and ready to bear the burden of helping you to rise up and turn back. They always want the good for you.


7. A true friend is like Jesus. 
Christ is the totality and epitome of a true friend. He is a friend that loves at all times (John 13:1). He loves those who are not worthy to be loved. He loves the unlovable and the unloving. He covers the sin of sinners so that sinners can stand blameless in the throne of the righteous God.


May we find true and good friends. “Lord help me find and be a good friend.”