Friendships are interesting things. God made us to want and need friends. Life is so much richer when you have friends, but in some cases, it can make life worse.
Ever heard the phrase, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?’
(I know…a true friend will make your life more meaningful, but I’m using the term loosely in this post.)
I’ve thought a lot lately about what it is that I look for in a friend. I certainly want to be a good friend to other people and I expect the same thing in return. The problem is it doesn’t always turn out that way. For the most part, there is a selfish undertone in most friendships. Not all, but most.
To be honest, we drag along the high school mentality into our adult lives. It’s not done intentionally, but just because we leave the adolescent realm doesn’t mean we have matured into adulthood. There’s still a lot of growing up to do and God has his work cut out for him in helping us to grow in our personal lives and in our relationships.
I have a more passive personality and like all things, it can be good and it can be bad. But the problem with this is, people like to take advantage of someone like me. It happened while I was growing up and I find that it is still happening now that I’m an adult (although not as often).
As a child, I was the person that others were friends with when no one else wanted to be with them. And since I was still in the immaturity stage of life, I let them. I allowed my worth as a human being to be gauged by how a certain person treated me. Notice I didn’t say how everyone treated me! I didn’t wish for every person I knew to be my friend. It was usually just one person…the person that abused me the most. And, friends, treating someone like they are the last person on your list, but you’ll put up with them because there’s no one else, is abuse.
The question is, why does this kind of stuff still tend to happen even though I’m an adult? You’d think that would be a thing of the past and I’ve grown up and learned to not allow it!! Right? Well…not really. If I were to get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s because I’m still learning to gauge my value in a different place than in what one person says or does. It’s tough to move outside of the perimeters of my personality and into what the Bible says.
Yet, this is where I need to begin if I am to focus on where God places value. He does not care who my friend is or isn’t.  He cares only about one thing. The Bible tells me that I am made in God’s image. If I actually allow my mind to focus on that for a minute, I will begin to see that this is where my value lies. God had a great interest in making me to reflect a part of Him that someone with a different personality or gender does not. And He loved me enough to give His Son for me. Because I am now His child, I have double worth.
The question could be asked, “How do you move forward and grow in maturity in this particular area?” The answer, for me, is quite simple.
- Remember who I am in Christ.
- Be kind, but don’t be desperate. If for some reason the other individual seems to come around only when her other “friends” aren’t there, then be kind. But, don’t jump at every opportunity that arises to be with her. It will appear that you have been waiting for her to get in contact with you. This only gives them more power.
- Reach out to people who are hurting. There are plenty of them around who need a loving touch.
- If you have a family, pour your energy into them. In the end, this is what will really count!
1. I am not insinuating that you can be friends with whoever and God doesn’t care. My meaning is, He doesn’t look at who my friends and if the happen to be a certain so-in-so, then I must be important.