How do you recognize a friend?

friends-scrabble2

— A friend is available when you are in need. She is not necessarily able to fix what you are wrestling with, but is willing and available when you need her.

— A friend is someone you want to talk to—someone who allows you to speak freely, without measuring your words. He is someone who sets you at ease in sharing your inner most thoughts, because you know you are not going to be judged or shot down, even if you’re just a little bit messed up.

— A friend is someone who sets you free—a person in whose presence simply being yourself is the only qualification for acceptance. You don’t have to be a certain thing…think a certain way…or do anything in particular to be part of your friend’s inner circle…you just are, because you are.

— A friend is someone who is true—a person who lovingly speaks truth even if that truth might have a bit of sting to it. She never takes pleasure in sharing something that might be difficult to share, but will do so if it truly will be helpful.

— A friend is someone who understands sharing is a two-way-street. He doesn’t simply draw you out of your shell, but also lays his armor aside from time-to-time, building a relationship in which vulnerability and security abide side-by-side.

— A friend is someone who knows your deepest, darkest “secret sins” but loves you anyway. She knows the only way to truly be a friend is to have a Christ-like attitude. If anything epitomizes such an attitude, it is a willingness to bear with others who are and always will be flawed human beings.

— A friend is someone who in spite of the fact that he wrestles with the same things you wrestle with each day does his best to be Jesus to you each day.

— A friend is someone who lifts your spirits when you are down…someone who commiserates with you when you are blue…someone who laughs with you at the stupidest things…someone who is faithful and true and committed to the idea of helping you reach heaven so that you can continue the joy of your friendship throughout eternity.

© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
September 4, 2016

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