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Do You Have True Friends and More Importantly: Are You a True or Fair-Weather Friend?

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Friend and love are two words which are often abused and used carelessly. There is a statement that I find rather interesting in the Bible about friendships. It says that a friend sticks by you like family. I believe that I have associates and people that I am a friend to, but not many people who I would define as a friend. It’s not that I don’t like the people I associate or I can’t trust people. I define a friend very differently from most people. I define a friend as a person who will stand and walk with me during my successes as well as my failures.

Friends are with me when things are going well as well as when things are at the worst. A friend will support you, look after you, be there for you, share in your joys as well as your sorrows. A good friend will tell you when you are wrong in love and will “cover” you when needed.

A long-term acquaintance has a best friend, who is truly like his brother. Through the years, I have admired their friendship. I have witnessed them be there for each other in so many ways. They have provided inspiration and encouragement to each other. They have been there for family events – even having Sunday dinners together. They are so close that their immediate and extended family considers each as family members as well. These two have supported each other through triumphs as well as devastating financial losses. What I love about this relationship is that they are respectful of the friendship and each other as individual men. While they may not agree with each other’s decisions, they respect the person and know when to speak up and when to back down.

I can recall when one member of the friendship made a poor decision. It seemed that everyone who knew of the decision had something to say. One day in particular, there were some people discussing the decision in the presence of my acquaintance. When my acquaintance was asked of the decision, he just looked and asked very sarcastically, “Why?” The way in which he asked why let everyone in the room know to let it go. When some inquired about the decision a few months later, this time he stated that it was a rumor and a speculation and that he needed “to just let that go”. All along, he knew the information to be true because his friend had informed him as soon as the decision came back to bite him. These two have negotiated business deals on each other’s behalf and walked away from other deals because they had faith in the other’s gut intuition. Imagine how happy they were when the deals worked out. They speak highly of each other in the absence of the other. That is what I would call a true friend!

A friend is a tremendous responsibility and a lofty honor. A friend is not a role which should be taken easily or entered into lightly. It requires work and sacrifice to be a friend, but it is so rewarding. During the darkest hours of my life, a friend’s love is what sustained me and gave me the will to keep fighting. At my lowest, my mother’s friends as well as my family encouraged me, walked with me, prayed for me, wanted the best for me, and believed in me. One of my greatest achievements is that I can call various people and ask if I am a friend and receive a resounding YES, followed by “I’m sorry, what did I do”?

While being a friend requires the ability to be selfless, genuine, and loving, true friends do not go unnoticed. I believe we should take the time out to let our friends know that they are loved and appreciated.

Question: Are you a true or fair-weather friend?