Qualities of a Friend – Proverbs 17

A true friend is one who isn’t easily offended. In fact, she is quick to cover over an offense. She refuses to repeat it, even to me. A friend like this is a prize indeed.

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 NIV

Another quality I appreciate in a true friend is how gently she is able to admonish me. I like to think I’m a person of discernment, and teachable. Sometimes I know she’s correcting me but it’s so well couched in love and acceptance I don’t even know I’m being rebuked.

“A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.”  17:10

My friend Diane and I were having a pleasant conversation in front of our church when an acquaintance joined us and began talking about someone in a gossipy sort of way. Diane seemed to be waiting for me to turn the conversation back to where we’d left off, but I didn’t. I honestly didn’t know how.  When she’d heard enough she gently excused herself. “I’m sorry, I don’t know this person.” And she stepped away. Of course, I felt badly that I’d taken part in gossip, but I was impressed with the lesson she taught me.

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” 17:27

“…uses words with restraint.”  I’m so glad that phrase is there. Now I don’t have to worry about the time it takes for me to express myself. I like that.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis


2 thoughts on “Qualities of a Friend – Proverbs 17

  1. Hi Kathy! We touched on the same verse again. Here are my thoughts on Proverbs 17:

    Appearing Wise ~ Proverbs 17:27-28

    “a man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
    Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
    and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

    When I was in junior high, one of my teachers complimented me when signing my yearbook. She said, “still waters run deep”. I don’t know how much truth there was to those words in my case. I was very shy at the time and felt (like many jr highers do) inferior to my classmates. But my teacher viewed my quietness as a sign of intelligent thinking going on inside. Perhaps she was right, or perhaps her kind words bolstered my confidence.

    I do know that when people blurt out the first thing that comes to their minds it’s not always a wise thing. Often they’re regarded as foolish, brash or inconsiderate, and if they do have any intelligence, they will regret their words and hopefully use more wisdom the next time they’re prone to speak without thinking.

    Me? I’ve done both, and I feel much better about holding my tongue and at least appearing wise. And just maybe I AM wiser as I get older. I certainly hope so!


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