One of the common posts I see on Facebook is about purging friend lists or about letting people go in life who are not loyal friends or whose presence in life cause more heartache than good. If you are Catholic like I am, you will know the book of Sirach. But even if you aren’t a person of faith, the words here are very powerful as to what defines a true friend. As you can tell the issue of who is a true and loyal friend has been around since early biblical times. These are important words to remember.
Sirach 6:5. If you are polite and courteous, you will enjoy the friendship of many people. 6 Exchange greetings with many, but take advice from only one person out of a thousand. 7 When you make friends, don’t be too quick to trust them; make sure that they have proved themselves. 8 Some people will be your friends only when it is convenient for them, but they won’t stand by you in trouble. 9 Others will fall out with you over some argument, and then embarrass you by letting everyone know about it. 10-11 Others will sit at your table as long as things are going well; they will stick to you like your shadow and give orders to your servants, but they will not stand by you in trouble. 12 If your situation takes a turn for the worse, they will turn against you, and you won’t be able to find them anywhere.
13 Stay away from your enemies and be on guard against your friends. 14 A loyal friend is like a safe shelter; find one, and you have found a treasure. 15 Nothing else is as valuable; there is no way of putting a price on it. 16 A loyal friend is like a medicine that keeps you in good health. Only those who fear the Lord can find such a friend. 17 A person who fears the Lord can make real friendships, because he will treat his friends as he does himself.[b]