Deacon-structing Friendship - Part 3: Thinking

Deacon Pedro

August 27, 2017
Do your friends think?
Last time we began looking at some qualities that should be part of a friendship: trust, honesty, fun and time. We also saw that in the Gospel of Matthew (5:22), Jesus speaks about forgiveness as a good quality in friendship. Today we're going to see how friends think.
But first, here’s another good one from the book of proverbs. “An evil man sows strife; gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)

In today’s language: 'Good friends don’t gossip.'

I remember my sister’s friends who would get mad at her and instead of telling her about it, they’d go and tell someone else about it. That's not right. You can’t have a good friend without trust and gossip kills trust.
The reverse is also true. Sometimes a good friend has to tell another person in order to help. Sometimes it’s not really good to keep secrets. If you have a friend who wants you to keep secrets maybe that’s not the best of friends either.
When a friend is doing something harmful or hurting herself or others, then, telling someone else is not gossip. Some people may think it’s breaking the trust. But if you have your friend’s best interest at hand, then it’s not. If you’re not sure, tell someone else and see if they can help. Just don’t post it on Facebook!
Many years ago I came across a great formula for knowing when to tell or not to tell: Friends THINK.
T stands for true. First ask yourself if what you’re going to say is true.
H stands for helpful. Is what you’re going to say, helpful in any way?
I stands for intelligent. Is what you’re going to say, smart? You don’t want to go around saying dumb things.
N stands for necessary. Is it necessary to say what you want to say?
K stands for kind. Is it kind? If you have to say it, can you say it with kindness?

If what you want to say is not either, true, helpful, intelligent, necessary or kind, then don’t say it.

So far we have: trust, honesty, fun, time and forgiveness. We also have no gossip (I guess that’s part of trust).
If we take the THINK formula and apply it to friendship in general we can conclude that a good friend is truthful, helpful and kind.
I wouldn’t say that a friend has to be intelligent – but can we say that a good friend (although fun) is not silly or dumb all the time. Can we say that a good friend (since they are healthy people) should be someone who is able to be serious and smart? What do you think about that?
We can also say that a good friend will only tell you things that are tough to say if it is necessary. But they will do it with kindness!

In short, good friends think.

I hope that helps. Write to tell me what you think and come back next week and we’ll look at the value of a friend.

Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching: