If an intimate friend were to describe you, would she use the word
trustworthy? What would be the basis of her description . . . do you nurture security, love, service, limits, freedom, enjoyment, faith, and encouragement in your relationship? Do you challenge your friend to reach her full potential?1 If so, you have the foundation of being a trustworthy friend.
A brief journey through Scripture reveals the significant impact that trustworthy friends can make on your life. Friends, according to Scripture . . .
·refresh one another (Proverbs 11:25).
·greatly influence us (Proverbs 13:20).
·love you enough to share information you don’t want to hear in a way that you can accept it (Proverbs 16:21).
·refuse to entertain the words of a slanderer (Proverbs 16:28).
·are often more loyal than family members (Proverbs 18:24).
·help you to see where you fall short of doing God's will (Proverbs 27:6).
·offer wise counsel because their overriding motive is to seek your long-term good (Proverbs 27:9).
·are available in time of need (Proverbs 27:10).
·choose to be reconciled to one another before attempting to worship their heavenly Father (Matthew 5:24).
·forgive one another (Matthew 6:14).
·reveal their relationship with God by their interaction with you. Consider the encouragement of John 13:35, "by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
·potentially mold your life toward wisdom (1 Corinthians 15:33).
·encourage, challenge, and hold you accountable (Galatians 6:2).
·meet your needs in specific ways (Galatians 6:10).
·speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
·help you see the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy qualities of life (Philippians 4:8-9).
·are a visible example of God’s sacrificial love toward mankind (John 13:34-35, 1 John 4:7).
A trustworthy friend has an understanding, encouraging, sympathetic, and tactful spirit. As well, she has the ability to retain another’s confidence (Prov. 10:19). As I counsel with women who have trouble in applying trustworthiness to their speech, I encourage them to say, “Stop, please do not tell me that—I am not trustworthy!” when someone begins to share information they know they cannot refrain from passing on. I find they do not need to repeat the phrase many times before their speech habits change.
So, according to Scripture’s standard, are you a trustworthy friend? Consider writing each of the statements above in a question, record your response, and ask your heavenly Father to increase your level of trustworthiness . . . here’s one to get you started:
Are my friends refreshed when they spend time with me?
1See Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, A Guide to Developing Your Biblical Potential. (Chicago: Moody, 2003) 26-27.