What are your criteria for a friend? What’s your definition of a friend? What does friendship mean to you. I’ve had a few people give their definitions of what a friend is and I’ve agreed and disagreed with some statements.
Over time, I’ve put together a personal criteria of what a friend is to me. It’s actually broken up into four categories: acquaintance, friend, good friend and best friend.
The acquaintance is someone who you’re on a first or last name basis with day-to-day. This could range from someone on the job to someone at church. This is someone you say ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ to regularly but aren’t particularly close to. You may chit-and-chat here and there but for the most part is light casual conversation.
The friend is a step beyond being an acquaintance. The friend is someone you’ve spoken to a couple of times and they may know general info about you. This is someone you might go to lunch with once and awhile, or you may go to see a movie with them. The friend is good running buddy for casual day and you may talk on the phone with them from time to time.
The good friend is, of course, a step beyond being a friend. This is someone you’ve known for a little while. You go places with them, to each other’s house and even probably double-dated with them. You speak to them often and they’ve been to dinner at your house a few times. They have a pretty good handle on who you are as a person and you about them.
The best friend is basically another brother or sister. This person is like family if you don’t already consider them family. They’ve seen the pretty and the ugly, the good and the bad, the ups and downs and they love you. You may have even had an ugly blowout with them a couple of times but you guys found your way back to the friendship and it’s stronger than ever. This is the ‘road dawg’ and the ‘partner’ who’s down for life.
Out of these categories, who in your life fits in those criteria? I’m talking about the issue for friendship because people use the word so easily these days. My definitions may certainly not be your definitions, or maybe you never even thought about any of this stuff.
Take a look at the people in your life and see how they add up. Who’s there for you and who’s not? Who’s held your hand through rough spots and who’s left you hanging more than once? Who was there when you were sick and who calls to see how you are? If… the results end up unfavorable? Don’t worry… know you have an everlasting friend in Jesus who stands right by your side no matter what! (Hebrew 13:5)