Summary: A look at how to be the kind of friend we want others to be!
How to be a Great Friend
May 5, 2002
It’s been said that a dog is man’s best friend. And depending on who he hangs out with, that might be true for some men.
Groucho Marx once said that outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read.
Well, we want to talk about how to be a great friend.
Great friends are hard to find sometimes, amen? You can’t just trust your innermost feelings to just anyone.
They might get discarded as so much rubbish or stomped on out of callous disregard.
We all need someone we can go to for help, counsel, or just to be with, because we know they care and they know us well enough to be honest if we ask their opinion about something.
The kind of friend who laughs at our jokes, even if they are not always funny. Well, maybe not, but they will tell you they’re not funny in a nice way most of the time.
That’s the kind of friend we want. But to get that kind of friend, we need to be that kind of friend, so we’re going to look at what it means to be a great friend by looking at a number of Scriptures that outline how to be the kind of friend we wish others were.
Let’s get started, shall we?
I. Be There.
I want us to look at three passages from Scripture dealing with being there. We won’t take the time to discuss all of them, but I want you to get the general principle, okay?
PR 17:17 A friend loves at all times…
Notice that doesn’t say, “a friend loves when he feels like it.”
PR 27:10 Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father.
Here we’re cautioned to not leave our friend when they need us, and also to be there for the friends of our parents.
This honors both your father’s friend, and maybe more importantly, honors your parent.
When I looked back at some of my dad’s friends, I saw how it would honor my dad to see that his friends could count on me if they needed it.
A passage often used for weddings is this next one:
ECC 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
How many of you remember the Carole King song, You’ve Got a Friend?
You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come runnin’, to see you again.
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, all you got to do is call, and I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend.
The idea of the song is that a friend is always available.
How many of you remember Saturday Night Live, back in the old days, when used to be funny?
One time, Steve Martin was a guest, and he did this incredibly funny bit about the Carole King song.
In the sketch, Steve Martin is walking the Carole King character back from a date. He asks to come in, but Carole says that she’s busy trying to finish a song and can’t take anymore time that evening.
He gives up, and decides to just hang out outside Carole’s apartment building. Next you see Carole through her window at her piano.
All of a sudden, a couple guys come up and mug Steve Martin, stabbing him, and leaving him for dead.
Just then, Carole starts the chorus,
You just call out my name…
And Steve Martin starts screaming, “Carole! Carole!” But she can’t hear him because she is singing.
Finally a commentator comes on, and says that Carole was so touched by the tragedy of her friend that she wrote her next hit, It’s Too Late, Baby.
Well, we need to be there to be a great friend.
Just a caution, though. This does not mean you should let people make demands on you that take away from more important obligations of God and family.
Let’s move on to the next part of being a great friend,…
II. Be Honest.
You’d think I wouldn’t need to say that, wouldn’t you? But unfortunately, we are so careful to spare our friends’ feelings that we aren’t always up front about concerns we have for them.
Sometimes we need to confront some things, that if not addressed, can not only harm your relationship, but it can lead to harm in other areas, and in other relationships.
PR 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Now some of you are thinking, “I can think of some people I would like to “wound, hee hee hee.”