This post has been more challenging to write that I realized. It is not because the topic is difficult, but because I have been blessed with so many awesome, soul-sister friends that it kinda leaves me speechless.
My words fall short and inadequately express the richness of the righteous relationships of friendship. So I asked my besties to provide an answer to the question “What are the qualities that make a true friend?” Their responses are better than anything I could have written myself. I am sharing their honest, word-for-word feedback with you (and you will quickly be able to understand why I cherish them dearly).
“A true friend is someone who is trustworthy, kind, has discernment and is uplifting. Someone who brings joy, is willing to listen and be there to lend wisdom when needed. Someone who is patient, supportive and knows how to sit with a friend in their darkest of moments and be there to celebrate in all the good things as well. It is a lot like 1 Corinthians 13.
“A true friend is loyal, honest, and has a genuine love for their friend.”
“A soul-sister points their friends toward God’s love. Their desire is for their friends to truly know God and experience the transcendent peace that comes from knowing Jesus.”
Amber has a soul-sister who is a beautiful example of that definition. Growing up, Amber started to believe false narratives about God. The main narrative being that God is a scary judge and is waiting to take away blessings the moment a mistake is made. Amber’s soul-sister patiently walked with Amber through her heart transformation as Amber battled with her deisre to truly trust God. She realized she could 100% trust her soul-sister with her deepest secrets and ugly past while knowing the friendship would not end and the love would continue. Amber wondered why she couldn’t trust God like that. Her friend explained God’s unconditional love in a way that Amber could understand and believe.
“A true friend is someone who is in it no matter what life’s circumstances throw at you or them. It is someone you can be messy with and in the process with while not feeling like you have to have it all figured out. Someone who encourages you and celebrates with you in the highs, but also prays for you and comforts you in the lows. Biblically, Jesus is the perfect friend. He loves unconditionally, he sharpens, he stands in the gap for, he shows mercy, he speaks truth and ultimately sacrifices everything for His friends. (Then she said she thinks she has room to grow based on Jesus’ example but I think she is doing a pretty darn great job!)
As it relates to toxic friends Karlee elaborated on how we can love everyone but be contentious of who we spend our time with.
“We can demonstrate love in different ways for each person because there are different types of love. We have to be wise and use discernment. Take those relationships to God and ask for His insight. Karlee believes that communication also plays a huge role. If a friend listens to your concerns and is willing to work things out with you that’s great! But if there is an unwillingness to change behaviors that harm the other then that relationship needs to shift. It has to be healthy for both. That doesn’t mean its always going to be perfect but relationships should always be a mutual effort.
Soul-sisters can be a needle in a haystack. They are a valuable treasure and precious blessing from the Lord. As we grow in refined relationships with others I pray that we can be an example of a soul-sister to the girlies God has placed in our path to care for through showing genuine concern, enduring patience and selfless love.
This post is dedicated to all of my wonderful, soul-sister besties . You have embodied all these amazing qualities and more. You have demonstrated true friendship by praying for me in my brokenness, loving me despite my flaws and celebrating with me in my joys. I would not be where I am or who I am today without your friendship. You mean more to me than words can express. I hope everyone is as fortunate to have a squad of gal pals as sweet, caring and encouraging as you all have been for me.