“You can always tell a real friend; when you’ve made a fool of yourself, he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job of it.” Laurence J. Peter.

Those words make you think, don’t they?

They make you ask: “Who is my real friend?” “Who am I a real friend to?”

A friend, a real one, a true one, doesn’t poke out their tongue and say, “I told you so” when you fall or fail. At least not from the depth of their heart when they really mean it. A real friend doesn’t turn up their nose and sneer at you when your back is turned because you haven’t gotten it right–again.

A real friend just hangs in there. He’s got your back. Or she… if she is female. He doesn’t look at you and say, “you’re totalled” when you have messed up big time. He doesn’t give up on you because you have tried one too many times and you can’t just get it right. He doesn’t slap down at you when the “wicked friends” do so and he doesn’t take a day off from being your friend for any reason whatsoever.

He is constant and he is available and he is always there.

He laughs when you laugh. And cries when you cry. And if you’re sniveling and wallowing in self-pity, he knocks you back to your feet and stands right beside you.

A real friend doesn’t say: “I’m done. I am done with you and I am not coming back.”

He is not a shit-taker or an ass-kisser, or lacking in gumption, but he is your friend and so he walks the full mile. He never gives up on you and should you require tough love, he delivers… one time.

A real friend visits you often–more than often. A real friend cares enough to leave sweet words and never be in too much of a hurry to linger for that. A real friend fights your battles and wins your wars. A real friend wipes your tears and tilts up your chin… and if there’s another blow coming, he braces himself with you.

A real friend is always there. Always there… always.

Have I been a real friend to you?

Have you been a real friend to me?

Nothing worse than a Judas Iscariot. Nothing worse than the betrayer among friends. And nothing worse than the one who kisses you and hands you over to the enemies.

I’d rather a Peter than a Judas any day. But I sure would love a John when I look down from my cross and see you standing there at the foot of my Calvary, holding on to my own… and sharing my sorrows.

Are we real friends to people in our lives?