What is a good friend?

Four attributes characterize a good friend (Derek Kidner):
  1. Constancy. A good friend loves at all times (Prov 17:17) and sticks closer than a brother (Prov 18:24).
  2. Candor. A good friend is willing to risk hurting you for your good (Prov 27:6; Eph 4:15).
  3. Counsel. A good friend cheers (Prov 27:9) and challenges (Prov 27:17).
  4. Tact. A good friend does not force or impose one's friendship (Prov 27:14), or overstay one's welcome (Prov 25:17), or gloat (Prov 25:20), or joke crassly (Prov 26:18-19).
  1. A friend loves unconditionally (Prov 17:17).
  2. A friend trusts completely (Prov 18:24; Jn 15:15).
  3. A friend keeps healthy boundaries (1 Cor 13:4).
  4. A friend gives heartfelt counsel (Prov 27:9).
  5. Friends mutually edify each other (Prov 27:6, 17).
  6. A friend speaks the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
Friendship and Intimacy (Gen 18:1-33).

Mere Friendship: Lewis on a Great Joy.

There are countless random quotes regarding friendship when you do a search. It suggests how crucial and foundational friendship is to all of life. One can say with confidence that the quality of one's life is directly proportional to the quality of the friendships that they have.

John 15:15 "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Prov 17:17 "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."

Prov 18:24 "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Prov 22:24-25 "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared."

Prov 25:17, 20 "Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you." "Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."

Prov 27:5-6 "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

Prov 27:9 (NLT)         "The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense."

Prov 27:17 (NLT)       "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."

Eccl 4:9-12 (NLT)       "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."

Eph 4:15 "...speaking the truth in love."

Col 4:6 "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Tim Keller's sermon on Friendship based on Proverbs: Wise people are good at choosing, forging, and keeping friendships. The marks of a true friend are constancy, carefulness, candor, and counsel. When you are liberated to be the great friend you need to be by the great friendship of Jesus on the cross, then you will find yourself getting, paradoxically, all the friends your heart needs.