Here’s what godly friendship looks like: people who love, comfort, and lift one another up so both feel safe and edified.
As flawed beings, we’re inclined to judge and rebuke others more often than necessary. Sure, the Bible mentions our responsibility to confront others, but those instances should be heavily outnumbered by displays of support for one another. Encouragement is a primary responsibility of Christian friendship—and part of bearing one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Scripture says friends are to love at all times (Prov. 17:17), keep one another warm, and lift up their fallen companions (Eccl. 4:9-12). God’s Word also tells us to encourage and build each other up (1 Thess. 5:11). If we clung to these verses, imagine what friendship would look like—a true safe haven, where people would come for edification and rest. Is that how you think of your friends? Is that how they think of you?
We readily recognize the expectations and responsibilities of many roles in life—for example, parent, spouse, sibling, student, coworker, leader, child, and volunteer. When we view friendship as a ministry of presence and encouragement, it will become the refuge that God designed.