a thought on friendship

i wonder sometimes if we don’t take the whole concept of friendship for granted…

it makes me sad, but i wonder how often the people we refer to as our friends are really no more than acquaintances with whom we share common interests or personalities,  shared schedules,  or similar priorities.

friendship is an odd thing.   you can spend years walking and working side by side with people,  but have no depth of friendship at all.   you can share core beliefs,  but be worlds apart.   you can talk about all kinds of different subjects,  but really know nothing about each other.   you can laugh and joke and even cry together,  but remain closed books.

strange,  isn’t it?

on the other hand,  you can spend years apart and be limited to a handful of conversations and emails…but the moment you get together,  the bond of friendship is as deep and profound as it has ever been.

you can have completely different personalities and share few, if any, common interests…but experience the most profound loyalty and commitment to each other.

you can be different ages…you can be in different economic brackets…you can have different political positions…you can be different races..or a hundred other differences…and still have the deepest of comradery and trust that is beyond comprehension.

real friendship is just that way.

  • real friendship is where uniqueness is accepted…
  • where forgiveness flows without explanation…
  • where trust does not have to be earned…
  • where differences are affirmed…
  • where loyalty is assumed…
  • where the unspoken is welcomed…
  • where loneliness and brokenness is not judged…
  • where conflict and confrontation is not avoided…
  • where pain is shared…
  • where grace and mercy are given and received…
  • where the needs of the other are always placed ahead of self…
  • where mistakes are compassionately tolerated…
  • where hidden agendas are non-existent…
  • where differences are embraced…
  • where successes and failures are equally celebrated…

real friendship is where fun and laughter and eating and sharing and sacrificing and crying and hugging and playing and praying are simply the natural by-products of people who have entered each other’s lives,  seen both the good and the not so good,  and determine to stay side-by-side no matter what.

do you have those kinds of friends?

are you that kind of friend to others?

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8 thoughts on “a thought on friendship

  1. I guess maybe because I can be transparent about my life to almost anyone, having acquaintances doesn’t seem like a bad thing.
    Your right, it is sad when you realize that almost all your “best friends” were really just acquaintances.
    For me, my acquaintances are no less valuable or desired than my closest friends and my best friend(wife).

    One bullet I would add:
    *Just can listening to your friend then listen some more and then listen even more, THEN, never give your opinion or say “If I were you”. Sometimes being a bottomless pit is needed. Although if they are whining, you have to tell them to cut the crap.

  2. Acquaintances aren’t put into your life by mistake. Some of the most life changing things in your life can come from people that you don’t form deep relationships with.
    You don’t have to be someone’s best friend to share God’s truth. You don’t have to be best friends with someone to get caught up in drugs, greed, sex or any of the other sins we don’t like to think about. You don’t have to be best friends with a kid to completely and totally affect the path of their lives.
    I can’t even begin to count all the “acquaintances” that I have in my life. From work, softball, fishing, church or my boys lives. I mean there are a ton! I also can’t even begin to count the times God has given me an opportunity to act Godly in situations with a huge number of those people. He doesn’t need us to be friends to spread His word any more than He needs us to be great.

  3. Friends let you have your pity party when you’re down.. and then smack you over the head and ask you what you’re going to do about it. 🙂

  4. Hey Mike,

    I was just talking with a friend last night about the need for churches to have a stated value of friendship. And by stated, I don’t mean that it’s just something they have on their website or printed in a slick brochure, it’s something that defines who they are and how they go about their doing the work of the church.

    I think that if more churches adopted the idea of being friends as one of the most important things we have as Christians then it would change the tone of a lot of problems. Board meetings wouldn’t turn into yelling matches with someone storming out. Worship/Preaching style preferences would become less of a big deal. And learning to love others and be loved by others would permeate the culture of the church.

    I don’t think it’s a crazy idea for ministers to do this. Jesus came up with it in the first place: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

    Thanks for the post!

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