What Kind Of Friend Are You

Are you the Judas, or the Jesus type? Or maybe you place yourself somewhere in between. What kind of friend are you? Let's examine this below. 

Jesus was met in the garden by his friend, Judas and the armed men who’d come to arrest him. Judas kissed Jesus on the cheek so the soldiers he’d brought could identify the person he had just sold. When he saw Jesus being arrested, Peter, angry that his teacher and friend was being taken away from him, drew his sword and chopped off one of the soldier’s ear. Jesus, not one for violence, meekly healed the man’s ear and followed him out of the garden.

We see at least four types of personalities (and personality tests) in this short exchange. Which one are you when it comes to friendships?

What kind of friend are you?

friends making heart shapes with their shadows

Are you the Judas type of friend

Judas was a close friend to Jesus right up to the time he sold him out. Shortly before the infamous kiss, he sat with him and enjoyed dinner with the rest of the group. Judas, so blinded by what he could get for himself, sold out one of his best friends for roughly the price of a slave.

Are you the type of friend that hangs around just because you think your friends have got contacts in high places, and the association would be advantageous to you? Do you keep them close while looking for your chance to exploit them for your own gain? Are you dressing up the friendship by making empty gestures, while you bide your time, waiting for the right moment to serve yourself? Is your sense of self gain so important to you that you would betray your ‘friend’ for any material gain you could get?

If you’re this type of friend, you’re like Judas. Leave the friendship if you don’t really care for the person because even though you’ll hurt that person once, it’s your soul and your character that will be soiled forever. How will you live with yourself then?

Are you the Peter type of friend?

Peter made a grand, hot-headed gesture of perceived bravery. Was it guilt about his thoughts of cowardice at being associated with Jesus that made him react like this? We will never know. However, later when he was sure Jesus was in trouble and the hunt was on for his followers, Peter denied knowing him three times. He refused to be there to make a difference when Jesus really needed him.

Are you the type of friend that’s the ‘life of the party’ when things are going great? You’re not scared to get your hands dirty and are great at getting things done. You’re the voice of the group and are not afraid to vent your feelings for the world to hear. You see yourself as the greatest friend; the one who gets things done while others stand around and mope. However, when friends are in real need, you feel too overwhelmed by your own life and worries to take make any real commitment. You don’t want to be overburdened by the needs of anyone else. You will do what you can when you’re there, but sacrificing your own needs above your friends’ is not something you’re willing to take on.

If you’re this type of friend, you’ll never reach other people’s hearts. They’ll hang out with you and have fun, but when they really need someone to talk to, you’re not the person they’ll call. You need to grow up and take stock of how you value others – if at all, because one day soon, you’ll have a real need and no one will come knocking on your door.

Are you the soldier type of friend?

The soldier came to arrest Jesus, probably prepared for a fight to ensue. After all, he must have heard that this man, Jesus the accused, hung around with twelve other men. Many of these men had been fishermen, so they were well-built, sturdy men with powerful shoulders and rough hands. Jesus himself had been a carpenter for a period of time, so he was a physically fit, robust man. It would’ve been very difficult for him to look like the ‘golden boy,’ slim images we’ve seen of him all our lives. Carpenters in those days built wooden wheels for chariots. Rough hands, muscular arms and strong shoulders came with the territory.

Jesus, however, didn’t put up a fight, and just when the soldier thought that everything was going to go smoothly, he was attacked by this madman with a sword. Anyone would panic if they see their ear fall to the ground, even if Emergency personnel are just a mobile phone call away. Jesus helped this man when he healed his ear. What did he do for Jesus? He just carried on with his job and arrested him anyway, refusing to allow this amazing miracle to affect him in the least. 

Are you a friend that takes but never gives? Are you one of the energy sappers that always have a sad story to relate to your friends? They offer a listening ear, and sometimes offer advice. They’re always on your side and agree with your points of view. They’re long suffering and have seen you through years of turmoil, joy, pain and happiness. They’re always happy about your successes and wish you the best in your endeavours. Yet, you have no time to listen to them. If you do, you talk about their troubles behind their backs and expose their most secret thoughts to anyone who would listen. You’re not prepared to give any of your time to listen when they need a sympathising ear. When good things happen to them, instead of rejoicing, you’re jealous. You wonder ‘why them’ and fret about when ‘your time’ is going to come. You soak up their energies, but you never give anything in return. Most importantly, you don’t notice when they do something good for you. Your attitude says you do not appreciate the kindness they’ve done, and see their good deed as your rightful inheritance.

If you’re a friend like this, you will never prosper. Being thankful for what we’re given, sheds a glowing light on the things we already possess. The more we look for blessings, the more we find them in our lives. It’s about personal perception. Living in the darkness of jealousy and greed casts negative shadows even on the things others see as beautiful. Giving makes us happy, but only the person who lives by this motto knows how true this is. If you have to ask how this is so, then you really need to make some changes right now.

Are you the Jesus kind of friend?

The night before Judas sold him, Jesus broke bread and gave it to him. He knew what was about to happen, but he invited him in and treated him with equal respect and love as he did the others. Jesus also knew that Peter was to betray him, yet he shared a meal with him and spoke to him lovingly. Even the soldier who came to arrest Jesus was treated with utmost kindness and honour. Jesus went out of his way to do something good, not only for his friends, but his enemies and those who sought to destroy him.

Are you this kind friend? Do you go out of your way to help others, even those who’re not there for you when you need them? I stay away from people who have hurt me, or those I know who don’t like me. I try hard to be a friend like Jesus, but don’t always come up to par.

What kind of friend are you? Are you the Judas type, the Peter type or are you struggling to be the Jesus type with little or no success? Whatever type you are, remember that you can make someone else’s day by just lending an ear when they’re down. Give some of your time to a friend in need, today. Think about how your behaviour can impact your friends - sometimes for life. Don't let this impact be a negative one.

Recommended reading: Relationship help with family and friends
Relationship with God and Spirituality articles. 
I've also put the links of two books about friendship (below) I know you'll enjoy. Please also share 'What Kind of Friend Are You' if you enjoyed it. 


Anne Lyken-Garner is a published, author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir.


Harleena Singh June 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

Wonderful post about the kind of friend you are Anne!

I loved the way you described each kind of friend so well. I think to be honest, we all have a mixture and a little of good and bad in all of us, which makes none of us really perfect - isn't it?

Just like you, I also try hard to be like the Jesus kind of friend, but cannot match up to that level. That's because we are still humans and are hurt easily, and prefer keeping away from those who hurt or harm us.

I guess speaking of myself, now I have more of online friends than offline ones. And I guess real friendship takes lots of time, effort, and trust to develop. I am indeed lucky to have found some wonderful friends online, though again we can't really say how they are in real life, as they are all online. But we judge them through what we feel for them or their words and deeds, which is what really matters. It's just that wonderful feeling you have being with one another that really counts and adds up another friend in your list.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Icy BC June 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM  

I can't say or list myself in any category. I just know that I am faithful/loyal to all my friends, help them when they need help, and try my best to be a good friend.

I think highly of all my friends despite our differences.

Anne Lyken-Garner June 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM  

Thank you for your very inspiring response, Harleena. I think a lot of us who spend so much time online blogging/writing have developed a large amount of online friends. It's quite reassuring that people we've never met could do so much to help us further our careers.
As you said, we don't know what they're like in real life, but they take time out to seek us out, and that's what's important.

Anne Lyken-Garner June 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM  

Thanks for dropping by Icy. If we all think highly of our friends this will take away a lot of the jealousy and bitterness some people can feel towards others. If we think highly of them, we'll always put their interest higher (or at least - as high as) than our own.

Judy SheldonWalker June 25, 2012 at 2:02 AM  

Jesus set a very fine example for us. If we are striving towards that and trusting God for guidance, then we are doing all that we can. I admire and love my friends so much. They are genuine and caring, and I am honored to have friends like that. It is my duty to be the same for them. I count you, Icy, Anne (yes, another Anne) Jeannie and Bev as my best friends. I broke the rules when I became friends with Jeannie and Bev, as I was their supervisor, but they mean more to me than that job did and none of us work there any longer anyway. I am so glad we kept in touch. Friends are so precious. Blessings!!

papaleng June 25, 2012 at 2:54 AM  

Very inspiring read. Jesus himself have said His followers must imitate Him, for that there is no choice for us but to follow Jesus' actions.

Anne Lyken-Garner June 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM  

Judy, thank you so much for your kind comment. Of course, I also count you as one of my best friends - online or otherwise.

As you said, we have to trust in God for guidance to be the kind of friend the people in our lives need. It's great to give of yourself to benefit someone else.

Anne Lyken-Garner June 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM  

Thank you, Papaleng. This is true. Jesus showed us great examples of how to be a good and selfless friend.

myletterstoemily June 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM  

hi anne!

this is thought provoking and convicting. i can
too easily get wounded and pull back from some
friendships. the Lord always shows me my
error, though, and thankfully my friends are all
'Jesus" friends and take me back.

i FINALLY purchased your book on my computer
kindle and love every word. it makes me sad to
think 'that' sweet little girl was so abused. i am
anxious to see how she got from there to here!

Anne Lyken-Garner June 30, 2012 at 9:05 AM  

I try as much as possible to be a 'Jesus' friend. I choose my close friends very carefully, but I give them my all in return. I know I'm a good friend. I want to be to them, what I wish for them to be to me.

Thanks for your kind comment about my book. Thanks for buying it and reading. If you have time, please leave a review on the Amazon page.

Pamela June 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM  

I strive to be the Jesus-type friend. I have some dear friends who give their all to our friendship. This is an excellent article, Anne. I'm thankful I stumbled on to this supermarket--so much wisdom found here.


Anne Lyken-Garner June 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM  

Thanks for your kind comment, Pamela. I'm glad you've found helpful articles here. Welcome to the Relationship Blog and do come again.

ChopperPapa June 30, 2012 at 9:23 PM  

Anne, interesting take on this biblical account. I think it would be safe to say that every one of us are each of these types of friends, at given times. I know personally speaking that I have seen myself in each of these places.

The challenge for any human, regardless of race, heredity, culture, or faith is that we are unable to completely remove 'self' from the equation. The only person who was able to do that was Christ himself.

As humans we will always seek to look out for our own interests regardless of how well intentioned we might be.

Thankfully we've been given grace to account for that weakness in each of us.

Anne Lyken-Garner July 1, 2012 at 4:26 PM  

Hi CP, thanks for your visit and welcome to the site. Thanks for a very insightful comment. I agree that the reason some people are such rubbish friends is that they can't NOT put themselves first.

We're humans, but we can make that effort. It's the beauty of free choice at work. We give sacrificially for our kids. It only takes one forward step to do it for the other people we have in our lives.

Thanks for adding value and discussion to the article.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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