Since the friends we choose reflect the person we really are, we have to look into ourselves carefully to make sure that we are first a good friend before we can expect that from other people. Proverbs 27:19 states, “A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is like is shown by the kind of friend he chooses.” Therefore, our choice is as much about who we are and where we stand at specific points in our lives. Proverbs 12:26 admonishes us to choose our friends carefully. Here are three friends who will stand by us in good and not so good times.
- The Challenger
The challenger is a friend who challenges us in different areas of our lives. We may need a friend to challenge us spiritually. Proverbs 13:20 states, “He who walks with the wise grows wise.” We may need a friend to support us physically, emotionally, academically, and in many other areas of our lives. The challenger is always positively pushing us to greater heights and is there to help us understand that all things are possible.
- The Supporter
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). A sign of a supporter shows that he or she has been there for not just the summer, but the winter as well. The supporter stays when everybody says “This is too much, let me get out of here.” This is a friend who is there to help us “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). The supporter is there for the job promotion as well as the unexpected cancer diagnosis, and will stand by our side no matter what.
- The Encourager
Everyone is looking for a friend to strengthen them spiritual, professionally, and in many other areas of life. First Thessalonians 5:11 commands us to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Hebrews 10:24 urges us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Imagine having a friend who can see potential in us that we cannot see in ourselves—a friend that believes in us even when we doubt ourselves.
Friends like these are hard to find. That is why it is imperative to be that kind of friend first.