I have done some serious thinking over the past few weeks. As opposed to all of that frivolous thinking I normally engage.
Early in my 20’s, I read a book called “Boundaries” and, while it revolutionized my perspective on relationships, more specifically it laid me wide open and exposed my weird little pit of compensation and insecurity. One of it’s most revealing truths was that a friendship is not a Real Friendship unless it possesses this unique attribute…
Are you ready?
Mutual admiration, affection and interest.
I know. Life changing.
And I’m really great at evaluating many things but in the realm of friendships? I have always struggled with my judgment. Where does loyalty come in? How do I evaluate and determine the importance of hanging on when someone is struggling versus letting go because they are… Well… So over me?
Realizing a friendship has dissipated is a deep, gut wrenching feeling. Something important has died.
No matter how I try to rationalize and justify the behavior of the other party, the truth remains. I can’t do enough work on my own to make a friendship work.
Nobody tangos with Bernie… Just too much dead weight. He doesn’t care and I’m just exhausted.
So what is the “measure of a good friend”?
Exodus 33:11 “God would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”
Samuel 20:42 “Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’”
Job 6:14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Proverbs 12:26a “The righteous choose their friends carefully…”
A friend is one who:
- Speaks to me face to face… One who does not fear the closeness of personal interaction.
- Sends me out with peace… I have no reason to fear when I am not in their company. They understand the value of our relationship and look toward future generations being blessed by our interaction. (How shortsighted we have become in all of our super-duper excellence and societal evolution)
- Does not withhold kindness. Out of reverence and fear of God, a friend treats others well and doesn’t hold back.
- A friend is one who chooses and is chosen carefully… A friend is not one chosen out of an emotional “like” but out of careful consideration and evaluation.
Wow. It’s obvious I have a lot to learn about being a friend.