A True Friend

By Douglas Culpepper

Has someone you cared about ever been doing something you knew would have bad results? Did you do anything about it? Our world is geared toward uniformity—fit in with the crowd at all costs. According to society, “interfering” with what someone wants to do means you are not a friend, even if what they’re doing is detrimental to his or her well-being. Thinking that we should let a friend do whatever they want because “it’s their decision” is not in line with God’s thinking. A true friend will let his friend know his concern for the friend’s well-being, no matter what others may think.

A true friend is aware when a friend is doing something that may harm him, and he helps his friend avoid it—not allowing him to blindly fall into it. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). The Aramaic Bible actually translates that first part as, “there are friends who are (just) ‘friends.’” Friends is in quotes to symbolize a very loose use of the word. It would better be translated acquaintances. A further study in the Hebrew reveals that it means, “there are acquaintances that will destroy you, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Are your friends really friends? Are you a true friend?

Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Wouldn’t it be better to have a friend tell you that something was wrong or needed to be changed, than a “friend” more concerned with fitting in than having your welfare as his main concern? It can be easy to not want someone to bring up concerns because they are “ruining your plans.” A true friend looks after his friend’s overall well-being, not just the then-and-there.

A true friend must be willing to give guidance (when appropriate) and also to take guidance. Many times it is easy to tell others your opinion but to completely brush people aside when they have an opinion. “In a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Bringing someone else into a situation can really help. Sometimes, especially when we are personally invested, the solution can be right in front of us without us even seeing it. Not being directly involved can allow better insight at times, which is when we need those true friends.

We have to be careful who we tell and what we tell, especially personal things. God gave us the ministry for counsel; don’t hesitate to seek that counsel. That extra opinion, that extra set of eyes, that guidance can sometimes save us from learning from the school of hard knocks.

A true friend must be willing to stand up for what is right, even when it means taking ridicule from your peers. It could even save someone’s life—physically or spiritually. It is easier to let things slip, act like nothing happened, or that you didn’t know. But situations are much easier to deal with in the early stages than after they have fully developed. We should not be the proverbial “tattletale,” but we also should not think twice about getting someone help if it could save their life.

Make God your best friend. Ask Him how to be a true friend. Stand up for God and your friends. Being the “bad guy” isn’t pleasant, but if you stand up for God, He will stand up for you! Don’t be an acquaintance, be a true friend!

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8 thoughts on “A True Friend

  1. Dear Mr Culpepper:
    Thank you so much for this wonderful piece. The strength of mind behind your words echoes very parallel to that of your father. Thank you for laying it out plainly as people can never offer the kind of friendship that God does. I can’t WAIT to be returned to Gods beautiful Church and His services. But I have HAD to learn out here, without any of you, God truly is all I have….. and has become all I need anymore. I have never meant anything so sincerely or deeply and wouldn’t DARE trade my experience for an “easy” way through this. Thank you – ALL of you for praying for us FIGHTING to come back. Doing it with God, well… it’s already won ;-) much love & gratitude, JS

  2. Make God your very best friend. For sure it will come with much persection, especially those who have lost their first love or are no longer converted, but with
    God as your best friend you need not fear, for God is always there, maybe quickly or He may make you wait, but He will always answer and deliver you from your enemies.
    Psalm 64 is a good example of what happens to those whose God is their best friend and also of what happens to the enemy.
    Take courage, build God’s faith and have no fear
    (Those with fear will lie and scandal and gossip and get-back, and back-bite, and always-right even when they know they are doing wickedly, they care not, because the love of God is not in them; They forget God is not blind, and that He is not a respector of persons. But God’s Very Elect is not so.)
    With this you can truly be a good friend to anyone
    I’snt it a joy and a blessing to put Our Great God always in the fore-front. by showing Him the respect and obedience and honour that is due to Him
    Be a good friend not a taking favourites friend.
    Thank you Mr. Culpepper

  3. Wow! What a Great Bestfriend we have! Someone who makes your cares His cares, just so you don’t to go through them alone.

  4. Very Enlightening article! It reminds me of a sermon your dad gave where he mentioned when the shoe drops. When I was a teenager an attended FOT, was surounded, quite often by 8 or more good looking guys! It was nice to have the support from other people however, to my knowledge none of them stayed with it. So important to have a close relationship with God The Father.because that will be what matters. As a child was riduculed continually by brothers, sisters & parents & finally had to come to the point , After reading a book called the Gift of Honor That I was a seeker who is a person who missed out on the blessing in the beginning of their life & are always seeking for intimacy but are seldom able to toerate it. Their lack of acceptance from parents can cause them to not recceive love, never sure of how acceptance feels. They can even struggle with God;s unchanging love. How wonderful it is going to be when none of us will ever suffer from dysfunction again & we will come to that dawning of a new age!

  5. Thanks for this awesome article. I’m sure we all have moments when we need to stand up to each other for what is right. Thanks again!

  6. A wonderful article! Thank you. It shows how a real friend should behave and how we can improve to be one. Only in this way we can help our friends.

  7. Thanks for this interesting article. It helps a lot. Making God our bestfriend can help us not to expect too much from others who are limited.

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