The Bible teaches us to be caring, compassionate, and conscientious friends. 1 John 3:17 reads: “If anyone…sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” The Bible emphasizes the importance of helping those in need. Being a good Christian friend means more than just caring about loved ones. It means reaching out to the person sitting next to you on the pew and offering a helping hand.
Learn the Signs of a Friend in Need
Not everyone will be open, transparent, and forward about having problems. Become an intuitive, sensitive Christian friend by learning how to identify the signs of someone in need. Here are a few general warning signs that a person may need your help:
- Impulsive behaviors. If a friend is suddenly not acting like him- or herself, being impulsive or uncharacteristically hostile, it may be a sign of trouble.
- Signs of substance abuse. Look for a disheveled appearance, abrupt weight changes, or behaviors that may point to drug or alcohol abuse.
- Withdrawal from everyday activities. You may notice that someone who is usually in your Bible study group or prayer sessions hasn’t shown up the past few weeks. Loss of interest in usual activities can be a sign of depression or abuse.
Don’t be afraid to give this friend or acquaintance a call and express your concern over his or her behaviors in a kind, non-judgmental way.
How to Help
If you notice signs of a problem, ask your friend if something is wrong in private. Give your friend an opportunity to discuss any problems. If your friend denies anything is wrong, let them know you are there if he or she needs anything in the future. Be a constant source of Christ’s light.