“Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.” George Eliot
I came across this brilliant blog by Frank Viola earlier today on the value of true friendship it was both stirring and profound.
It came in the context of me reflecting on some questions and also hearing about Love, Freedom, Empowerment and being on a Journey.
The Five Characteristics of a Close (True) Friend
- A close friend rejoices in your joys and sorrows over your pains. A true friend is not just sympathetic, they are empathetic. They share your feelings, weeping with you when you weep and rejoicing with you when you rejoice.
- A close friend won’t defriend you if you disagree. Friendships are tested when there is a disagreement. But true friends don’t cut you off because of it. They may tell you what they think you need to hear and vice versa. But they will do it in such a way where you can receive it. The reason is because you know they love you unconditionally more than they love their views.
- A close friend stays in regular contact with you. I have friends who contact me from time to time and vice versa (once or twice a year). We regard each other as good friends. But a close friend this doth not make. Close friends communicate fairly regularly.
- A close friend is someone whom you trust implicitly. They have earned your trust. Consequently, you don’t doubt that they have your back. And you don’t fear that they will stab you in the back. You trust them enough to confide in them about highly private and confidential matters. Close friendship brings with it disclosure (John 15:15).
- A close friend will stand by you, defend you, even take a bullet for you when you’re under attack. To my mind, this is perhaps the highest measure of friendship or one of the rock-bottom “tests.” The posture of a true friend is, “If you hurt my friend, you’ve hurt me.” It is never, “Well, that person never did anything to hurt me, so it’s not my issue.” This attitude is what separates goats from black sheep. True friends stand with and stand up for each other.
I want to both give and receive these outpourings of friendship and humanity with my friends. A truly spiritual, profound and brilliant expression of hospitality and what it means to be human.