Friends and friendships are very important parts of everybody’s lives and though we do not realize it we often take them for granted. Without friends there would be no one to talk to about personal problems, except for your parents. Not many people like to discuss personal problems with their parents, but that is a whole different topic which we will not go into now. There would be no one to have fun with or to enjoy life with. The way you treat your friend should be just like the way you would want to be treated. Your friend should also treat you like they would want to be treated. You and your friend should treat each other with respect and honor. Being thoughtful, caring, understanding, and encouraging are some very great ways to be a good friend. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Another way to be a good friend is to be sharing and open. Share your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and secrets with your friend. Confronting a friend about anything can be very difficult. The worst thing to do is to keep putting it off until it gets so bad and there is nothing you can do about it. Tell your friend right away so something can be done about the problem. If something your friend does bothers you just come right out and say it. If they are a true friend they will try to change and if it is something they cannot change then they will help you a way through it. For example, if your friend says words that you do not think are appropriate and they really care about you and you ask them to stop then they will try to quit saying those words. There are a few steps to follow when we confront a friend about a sin that they committed: First of all, confront your friend by yourself and if they will not listen to you, take another friend with you. If your friend still will not change go to their parents about the problem. If your friend still refuses to change then you must go to the elders of their church. By that time it is no more your problem to deal with and you cannot hang around with your friend anymore, but you must still be kind to them. If you friend still does not change they will be excommunicated from the church. Listening in a friendship is very important and vital. A good friend will listen to what their friend has to say because they might have a question or a problem that they can only tell a friend. A friendship is like a two-way street. You have to be able to talk to your friend and you have to be able to listen to what they have to say. If you never listen and always interrupt when your friend is talking, they will eventually stop talking to you. A friendship cannot survive without communication. Your friend might have some great words of wisdom for you to take advice from if only you would listen to what they had to say. Also, no one likes a person who never stops talking to listen to what others have to say. Backbiting is mean, selfish, rude, heartless, and very cruel. Your friend may never want to speak to you again if you backbite them. If you see a problem talk to you friend about it, and if it is only your opinion keep it to yourself. Proverbs 17:9 states, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” This verse means that someone who keeps things to himself seeks love, and someone who backbites separates the best of friends. In chapter 16:28 it says that a whisperer separateth chief friends. Encouragement is very important and everybody needs encouragement some time in their life. Your friend might need encouragement for many reasons. First of all, they might be depressed about a personal problem and need to be encouraged about it with someone. Secondly, they might be nervous about talking to someone and they need to be told that it is going to be okay. Thirdly, they might be scared to do something. They might need a little talking to to convince them to do something they are not quite sure they want to do. Fourthly and finally, your friend might not know what kind of a decision to make about a certain subject and need your opinion and encouragement on their decision. Proverbs 27:9 says that ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. In conclusion, remember that friends are important and treat them kindly and with respect. Finally, remember what they do for you and do not take them for granted. Some friends come and go, but close friends are usually for keeps, so next time think before you do something you will regret later. ♦
Kelli is a student at Covenant Christian High School.