Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. (Proverbs 18:24 MSG)
Who is there when you fall? Not just 'there' in the physical sense, but 'there' to help you mend your ways, find your way back, and ensure you are really stable once again? Who is there to see your misgivings and then to know which ones are to be abandoned and which are to be pursued? Who is there to delight in your accomplishments AND suffer in your defeats? Many a friend is there to celebrate your accomplishments, but I doubt there as many standing by when you are wallowing in defeat!
I used to tell my kids they needed to be wise about the friendships they chose as the actions of those friends could act as 'encouragement' in their own life to do things that they maybe shouldn't be doing. While all of life is about choices, this is perhaps one of the most significant ones we will make - who we choose to be within our closest circle of friends. If you have ever been 'abandoned' in a time of need in your life, you know why I tried hard to teach my kids this lesson.
You know by now that I like to use the dictionary, find a good quote or two, and do some Google searches to learn what I can about things that peak my curiosity. I actually did a Google search today to see what others defined as the 'character traits of a best friend'. I imagined I would find a few articles or blog posts, but I actually came away with over thirty-nine million results! Obviously, this concept of 'best friend' means a lot to people!
I found lots of 'advice' on having common interests and the time to pursue them. Equally so, there was advice on finding someone who will really listen to you and will 'have your back' when they need to. The reality is that it is kind of hard to define the character traits of the 'right' friend for you, but the idea portrayed in scripture is that the 'right' friend 'sticks by you' no matter the outcome. There is more than just common interests with best friends - there is a common bond of heart, passion, and purpose.
The man or woman who finds such a friend is beyond blessed. There are so many in this world today who have yet to find such a friend. The best way to find such a friend? Be one yourself! Just sayin!