Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thoughts about friendship from the land of blog

I did not write this although I wish I had. I just read this on someone's blog and thought it was great.

5 things I have learned about friendship

1) Health finds its level: If you are unhealthy and insecure in yourself, you will naturally attract people who are the same. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” If two unhealthy people wallow in their struggles together, they might feel like they are supporting one another for awhile. It often turns into an up and down roller coaster. Sometimes loneliness helps up put things in perspective: God is our ultimate source of comfort and guidance and sometimes we need to “get healthy” in order to be a friend.

2) If you are in a one-sided friendship, it is not a friendship, it’s a ministry: I heard this at the MOPS meeting two years ago and it hit me over the head. I came back to the Proverbs verse. There are two irons are sharpening one another. Each is receiving while each one is giving. The speaker said we have to make a decision whether we want to continue this one sided friendship knowing it might stay this way forever. Can we handle it? Do we have time for it? Will our spouse or family members suffer as a result of our commitment to this person?

3) There are always two sides to every single story: I learned this one the hard way about four to five years ago when two people I respected were in conflict with one another. I felt pressured to take one side over the other. When conflict occurs, both sides have contributed in some way. We have all been around people who have nothing good to say about their friend, their family member, their in-law, etc. Proverbs 16:28 says it is best: A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

4) The right thing to do is often the hardest: Admitting your faults, apologizing, owning up to wrongdoings, and sacrifice do not come naturally. It is easier to lie, backstab, attack, be passive/aggressive, gossip, pretend like nothing happened, be condescending, blame, dig up the past, argue, withdraw, and hold a grudge. This is one of my favorite verses: For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ - Galatians 1:10. It does not mean we need to stop caring about others and only focus on God. It means that we live to please God. Through coming to know God and seeking to please Him, he gives us the love and grace so we can love others. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in that. I do not have to try to be someone I am not or work tremendously hard so someone approves of me.

5) It is OK to let go and sometimes even neccessary: If a friendship is not bearing fruit, what is the purpose? If it is one sided, what is the point? If the person is only out for their own needs, what role are you playing? Obviously if you are being disrespected, why are you holding on? It's not the greatest movie when it comes to relationships but I love it in Jerry Maguire when Dorothy Boyd says, "Maybe relationships don't have to be so much work." If there is a lot drama, confrontations, arguing, false accusations, and physco babble, maybe it is time to move on or at least take a break.

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