Friends are people who know you really well and like you anyway.
Throughout our lives, it’s our relationships that stick out as having the most influence on us. The friends that we make throughout high school, college, and the workplace are the friends that will shape who we are. The people we surround ourselves with are important, but it’s just as important to be the type of friend that people want around, as well. Here are four types of friends you both need and can be yourself!
4. The Hype Man
By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David-an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David’s number-one advocate and friend.
1 Samuel 18:1 MSG
Then Jonathan, son of Saul, figured out where David was and went out to meet him at Horesh. Although David and his men were in a tight spot, Jonathan reassured David’s faith in the True God.  “Don’t be afraid. My father Saul will not get his hands on you today or any other day. Someday you will be king over all Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”
1 Samuel 23:16-17 Voice
Jonathan was David’s number one fan and advocate, and he also reminded him to have faith in God. Do you surround yourself with friends who will build your faith? Or do you surround yourself with people who won’t challenge your faith?
Jonathan reminded David of his purpose. He wouldn’t let David settle. He hyped him up and had vision for him even when David was going through tough times and things felt hopeless.
We all need that friend who will push us to get over ourselves and live the purpose God has for us.
- Who in your life is your hype man?
- Who needs you as their number one fan?
3. The Ride or Die
Stop pushing me away, insisting that I stop following you! Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.  Wherever you die, I will also die and be buried there near you. May the Eternal One punish me— and even more so— if anything besides death comes between us.  When Naomi heard this and saw Ruth’s resolve, she stopped trying to talk her out of returning to Judah.
Ruth 1:16-18 Voice
But Lord, You are a God full of compassion, generous in grace, slow to anger, and boundless in loyal love and truth.
Psalm 86:15 Voice
Even when Naomi tried to isolate and push Ruth away, Ruth was a loyal friend and chose to stick with her. She reassured her that no matter what went on in life, she was going to stick with her as her friend.
We all need a loyal friend like Ruth who will stay by our side and won’t let us be isolated. You may get annoyed with friends like these and want them to leave you alone, but the truth is you need them. Even when we have a hard time and push these friends away, they stick with us, patiently pushing us to keep growing. The way we learn how to loyally love our friends is from God, who always sticks with us even when we push him away!
- Who are the loyal friends in your life? How have you been treating them?
- How can you choose to be a loyal friend today?
2. The Truth-Spitter
Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had a face-to-face confrontation with him because he was clearly out of line. Here’s the situation. Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.  But when I saw that they were not maintaining a steady, straight course according to the Message, I spoke up to Peter in front of them all…
Galatians 2:11-14b MSG
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Sometimes you just need that friend who calls you out when you’re out of line. Paul was that friend to Peter. He saw that Peter was afraid of what people thought and wasn’t actually living by the Bible, so he called him out on it. It’s not always an easy conversation, but we need friends who are willing to tell us hard truths about ourselves in order to help us grow and keep moving forward.
- Who in your life is that friend?
- Do you welcome friends who push you or do you only talk to people who make you feel better about yourself?
- Who in your life needs you to be a friend that speaks up?
1. The Teammate
Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News.
Philippians 1:27 ERV
A true friend loves regardless of the situation, and a real brother exists to share the tough times.
Proverbs 17:17 Voice
We need those friends with whom we can go through everything. Where we pull all-nighters together in college, we figure out our careers together, and help each other date and get married. These are the friends that we can be completely and totally ourselves around, because we know we are accepted and loved no matter what. We stand up for each other, stand with each other in hard times, and fight to have purpose together. This is the kind of friend God is to us, and always calls us to be. We aren’t meant to go through life alone; we need friends to be a team with so that together we can live a life bigger than ourselves!
- Who in your life is on your team?
- Who can you be a teammate to?
To learn more about how to live a life bigger than yourself, register for our upcoming Campus Retreat, “Bigger than Me,” on October 13-14!