Tell me what kind of company a person keeps and I will tell you what he is. We always enjoy the company of those who flatter us, but this weakens us. We should prefer the company of those who tell us the truth and help us to be better. He is your best friend who humbly suggests to you how you may improve and benefit yourself. If we always live in the company of flatterers, it is bad for us-for our spiritual growth.
True friendship consists in being mutually useful in offering one’s friend good cheer in distress, sympathy in sorrow, advice in trouble, and material help in times of real need. Friendship consists in rejoicing in the good fortune of one’s friends and in sympathizing with them in adversity. One who has given his friendship to another gladly foregoes selfish pleasures or self-interest for the sake of his friend’s happiness, without consciousness of loss or sacrifice, and without counting the cost. … The greater the mutual service, the deeper the friendship. … Hence to attract friends, one must possess the qualities of a real friend.
When true friendship exists between two souls and they seek spiritual love and God’s love together, when their only wish is to be of service to each other, their friendship produces the flame of Spirit. Through perfected divine friendship, mutually seeking spiritual perfection, they find the one Great Friend.