Friendships are truly a gift from God.

Every once in a while, God brings along a friend who “gets” you, who totally understands you, and vice versa—a kindred spirit. If you have had a kindred spirit friend, you know what that looks like, and it’s hard to explain. It’s not a relationship you have to work hard to make happen; it just happens. God’s hand is clearly in it.

In Philippians 2:20, Paul refers to Timothy as his kindred spirit:

“For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.”

An Old Testament example of a kindred spirit friendship is that of Jonathan and David.

So what are the characteristics of a kindred spirit?

Kindred spirits have something in common. 

It may be a love for the same people, a similar passion in life, or the challenge of similar struggles.

Kindred spirits are one in spirit.

They see eye to eye on things and are similar in the way they respond to situations in life. They understand each other and can identify with what the other is feeling or thinking.

Kindred spirits love each other selflessly.

They’re focused on encouraging and building each other up more than their own self-preservation and promotion.

Kindred spirits pray for each other.

They know how to pray for one another and are faithful in doing so.

Kindred spirits are honest with each other.

They can be completely themselves around each other and don’t feel they have to put on a mask. They can tell each other things they wouldn’t feel comfortable telling others because they know their kindred spirit will understand and not judge or think poorly of them.

Kindred spirits want God’s will for each other.

Jonathan was not jealous or angry because David would be king instead of him. He knew God had chosen David, and he accepted that and loved David. He could have become bitter and resentful, but Jonathan embraced God’s will for himself and for his friend.

Kindred spirits build each other up spiritually and point each other to the Lord.

Jonathan and David kept their focus on God and pointed each other to Him. They didn’t let their friendship become the focal point.

God has blessed me with a number of kindred spirit friends in my life, and I am so thankful for each one of them. Take some time today to thank God for those friends in your life. If you don’t have a kindred spirit, ask God to bring one into your life.

What characteristics would you add to this list?