You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

—Jesus, Matthew 22:39

In Scripture the word for friend and the word for neighbour is the same. Proverbs offers some sage wisdom on how to differentiate between the good and the bad when it comes to the friends you have.

Here are the sometimes-not-so-obvious, but truly virtuous signs of a best friend.. If you will love God’s wisdom, then cultivate a few friendships this way; be this friend.

A best friend is one who is loyal throughout life’s changes

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

A best friend is one who is a better companion than even family

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

A best friend is one who knows about your sinfulness, but doesn’t talk about it to others

Whoever covers an offence seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:9

A best friend is one who knows when to speak words of rebuke and counsel

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:6, 9

If we can put it another way, be wise in how you interact with those around you.

  1. Love others even in the hard times
  2. Befriend the lonely
  3. Know that all are sinful, and show love
  4. Recognise when you are “the one” who needs to go speak to another