Not really!!! That was the question posted, so I thought I’d give a little cliffhanger title to freak you out. (That one’s for you, Michele.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. What is it? What its requirements are? How much should a friend expect from us as a friend? How much should we expect from that friend?
I’ve wondered why is it that we call someone a best friend and love all her quirks and faults and say that’s who she is and that’s why we love her, but then…when we need her to be “there” for us, or to apologize, or to be more intuitive, or something else that’s probably outside of her personality, and she’s not, we throw up our hands in the air and crush that friend with hurtful, hateful words?
Why is it that what we need we don’t often express until we are in a desperate moment and then we hurt those whom we love because they don’t infer what our problems are or that we even have problems? Why is it that we expect that friend to meet those needs? These are the questions that have been flying around my house for the last few days. Praise the Lord I haven’t been the object of the questions…this time around.
When you first make a friend, there is something about that person that attracts you. You don’t look at the flaws that person has. You simply love whatever THAT quality is that attracted you. You make her your friend, for better or worse. The flaws don’t matter. You may have different friends that you have different things in common with and you call on that friend when you want to do that particular thing.
So, why is it that when we start to notice that our friend doesn’t listen enough and talks too much (I’ve never been accused of that), or doesn’t say thank you, or is late all the time, or doesn’t do any number of things we may want her to do, it then starts to bother us? After all, we want that friend to do what we need her to do precisely when we need her to do it.
It’s selfishness that causes this. When we start focusing on our needs and how someone isn’t meeting them, we’re being selfish. When we say she is selfish, we’re being selfish for saying how selfish that person is. Isn’t that an oxymoron? I have been guilty of doing this numerous times. Also, jealousy usually is a factor in the equation. The things that we support our friend in is suddenly the thing we resent her for and we call her boastful, on a powertrip, and more.
So, I have figured out the true meaning of friendship. Friendship is when you accept someone for her flaws. You don’t expect her to be your everything. You remember that her love is shown to you simply by the act of being a friend. And, you try to be sensitive to her needs, while remembering that you’re not the one who can satisfy all needs and she can’t satisfy yours, and you’re not supposed to. Only the Lord can do that. If your friend gives you a quirky little gift that you don’t really like, what do you do with it? You save it because it came from her, right? So, why is it that when the disagreements come, you think about how she never shows love in your “love language”? You can’t do that. You can’t throw things like that up. You take the token of friendship, no matter what it is, for what it is…love.
Remember, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of your life. When making friends, remember not to be all-absorbed with that person. It’s too much. Remember that there is supposed to be equal give and take with friendship, but if your friend isn’t in a place to give right now, that’s okay. Cut her some slack. Show some grace. AND…if you make a friend more to you than your Savior, then you’re setting that friendship up for failure.