I’m an early bird. I’ve always been and it seems there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m also an earl bird who tends to get a lot of thoughts and ideas in the middle of the night. Having had a day mixed with wonderful times with family and friends, viewing “Frozen” and “Ride Along” back-to-back…two movies with friendships/relationships being a theme, and a good bit of Reality TV has me up dark and early on a Sunday morning writing. I don’t know what it is about my mind that tends to make me wake, sometimes when I don’t want to to churn out whatever it’s been simmering on. In the middle of last night its thought of choice was friendship/relationships.
Friendship is a necessity, people. In fact, I’m convinced that we are strategically created by God to have healthy, strengthening, nourishing relationships, based on Christ’s relationship with His friends in the Bible, and based in His love for us. The problem is, we often don’t know how to do friendship the right way. I could go on and on about the mistakes I’ve made concerning my treatment of friends simply because I didn’t know, or take the time to know any better, but I won’t:-)
While watching “Blood, Sweat and Heels” yesterday, a reality show that is growing on me, and even teaching me a thing or two about friendship (in the midst of hints of humor and the unneeded madness I cringe at watching), I learned a few things that further prove Proverbs 18:24 to be true…A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
We all need and deserve friendships. One thing we have to work on, however, is preferring the positive over the negative when it comes to our associations with other human beings who are just as flawed as we. I’ve been reminded, even through the lens of “Frozen”, “Ride Along” and “Blood, Sweat and Heels” that we have to…
- Be present in good times and times that could be better. We shouldn’t abandon our friends when times are tough for us, or them.
- Live in the present, not always referring to the past (how a person use to be, how we helped them, how we were there for them, what they’ve been through, etc.). Nobody wants to hear that over and over, especially after they have lived it.
- Guard our mouths and actions around those we love.
- Have proper expectations of people. Not all friends will play the same roles for us in our lives, nor will they often play the same role for us as we’ve played for them. Each person has a different assignment.
- Ward against comparisons and covetousness.
- Be open to the notion of having friends that aren’t like us so they can help sharpen us and we can help sharpen them. As long as they’re “iron” it’s all good. (Check Proverbs 27:17)
- Be flexible as life tends to change the pace and course of our lives and the lives of those we love. Be willing to change and grow for the good of ourselves and the association.
- Be willing to be vulnerable, transparent and TRUSTING.
- Be helpful to those we call friends.
- Allow those we call friends to be helpful to us.
- Learn to relax.
- Guard trusted secrets and never use those secrets for our own gain.
- Respect each person’s role in the relationship, and reason for God allowing them to be there.
- Believe the best of tried and true friends first before accepting what is being presented as the worse.
- Learn to say or accept “I’m sorry”…again and again if needed.
- View each friendship as a gift from God.