Have you ever found yourself asking whether the people you call your friends are really genuine and true? Do people stay for only a season or do they stay for a lifetime in your life? I often look at my friendships and reassess my position. This doesn’t mean that I’m just cutting people out of my life, no, on the contrary, I ask myself how can I be a better friend.
Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. A very strong statement? Does it mean we’ll have to die for our friends? Well, it depends what your definition of “dying” is. Here’s a few thoughts on “dying” for our friends.
In my quest for true friendship, I’ve realised that I needed to befriend myself and be comfortable with myself in order to make someone else comfortable in my space. I had to accept myself for who I am; if I can’t, how would others? If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from being married is that I can’t change people. The only person I can change is myself.
We need to make time for our friendships. I often ask myself where on my priority list is my friendships. Now, we can get very busy with people (at work, school, campus, church) but that does not necessarily mean that we are carving into meaningful friendships. True friendships need to be prioritised and be moved higher up the pole.
Candice and I have been reading a book whereby the author speaks about ladies “seeing through pink sunglasses and men hearing with blue ears.” 🙂 You may add your own connotations to that but it simply boils down to someone not hearing what the other is saying. Sometimes friends just want someone who can listen, no advice, no telling them what to do…just listen. Have we lost the art of listening or has life become so technical that everything needs a solution NOW?
Just get up for a second and go to a mirror. Look at yourself and ask whether you are enriching your friendships or whether you are sucking them dry. Are people excited when you enter a room or do they avoid you like the 8th plague? True friendship is a treasured gift; every time we talk to each other, it should feel as if we’re getting richer and richer.
You know, the easiest for a friendship to go into a state of decline is when one party is not happy with what the other is doing but says/does NOTHING about it. We are there to be each others’ blind spots and need to point out these difficult situations to each other. We can’t only be in each others’ lives for the good times and happily agree with one another. In LOVE and with INTEGRITY, we need to also reprimand, if necessary.
I always try and see the good in everyone. Not always to my benefit as I do get my fingers burned now and then. But I sincerely think that is how we should handle our friendships…seeing the positive side of our friendships. Commend each other and brag about each other. That’s the best way of strengthening a friendship even further.
We all know the saying that goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed. So, let’s visit each other when we’re in hospital, let’s dry each other’s tears in time of despair and let’s pray for each other in times of hopelessness.
Barbara Bush: At the end of your life, you will never regret having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.