2/3 What three qualities do you look for most in a good friend?
I am a question nerd. Yes. To devote a whole website to asking questions- this is probably very obvious. But with each passing day I grow increasingly fascinated by people. They are so cool. So crazy. So confusing and completely awesome. A good question and an honest answer can teach you more about a person than a few years of daily, unintentional interactions. Questions are effective and efficient and can unlock and uncover heartstrings that hours logged never could.
This question is a favorite of mine to ask people around me because I automatically know what they value, what's important to them, why they hang out with the people they hang out with, (or sometimes) how disconnected they are to their values if the people they hang out with don't resemble these qualities at all.
So what are mine? Well, because I love to write and love little writing things like alliteration... mine all happen to start with the letter H. My number 4 quality of importance in a friend may just be an all-out appreciation of alliteration.
Humility. I have talked about this word before- most likely due to the ever shrinking number of examples of true humility around. When I encounter someone with humility it smells like rain in the desert- so rare. When it happens you take notice and want to linger around a little longer. I looked up the definition of humility and this is what Google told me:
I love this so deeply. We often think that humility can be dangerous to our ‘believe in yourself’ culture because we think it’s a modest or low view of one’s own self. Not at all. A modest or low view of one’s own importance means (by default) you have an extravagant or high view of the importance of others. That distinction of humility is breathtaking and makes for the best, easiest-to-be-around friends. Humans who operate in spaces where people are viewed higher, more significant and of paramount value over their own self... THESE are my people. My friends. My go-to’s and constant teachers.
Humor. Because the best friends are fun friends. The best friends laugh loudly, find things hilarious and bring out the silly in others. I tell my sister all the time that besides Austin there is no one else I can be so weird with. We laugh a lot. At things that really aren’t that funny. But the humor she brings to our sisterhood, our friendship is such a prize because of the lightness and joy it leaves in its trail. To have a friend that is genuinely funny in a way of connection instead of putting others down, judging or gossiping is increasingly rare and so easy to be around. Funny people are my people.
Honesty. I haven’t always valued honesty. I have been too afraid of people’s opinions to welcome honesty. I used to freak out at another's seemingly low-view of me and it left me embarrassingly, negatively affected. But then God brought a man into my life who was (and is) very, very good at being honest. Austin. My husband has done more over the last decade to teach me how to be truthful and grace-filled at the same time than anyone else. Today, honesty is so valuable to me because of how it unlocks deeper friendships by forcing growth. It can be awkward and hard but the end result can be crazy redemptive. Honesty also calls us to be sincere. Authentic. Just real. Nothing is more valuable in a friend to me than that.
Let's enjoy these friendship words of Jesus and be good friends today.
What are your three words? They don’t have to start with the same letter. (But we may be quicker friends if they do.) Ask your best friends, your family, your people today what they value in a friend. Knowing these things helps us love better. Understand deeper. Be there in new ways. Share yours below or go journal about it. We’ll each get our part right today if we know and operate in our values.