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