Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friendship

I like most men don't have many friends. I used to hear that women were better at friendship but I'm not sure that is true. Someone told me, "Women talk more but are not any better at relationships."

Friendship is hard. It requires a lot. It's also different from acquaintance. I know many people but that doesn't make them friends. I know most people in my Men's Sunday School but I'm not sure if any of them are my friends. They don't really know me and I don't really know them. We just see each other at church. I don't say that to cast bad light on them; it's just the way it is.

A lot of my problem is that I am a loner. I also don't do very well at relationships in general. Another thing is that I know true friendship would require someone to give to me. Due to insecurity or whatever, I have a hard time believing someone would want to do that. Maybe I create my own destiny.

We have all heard of the church visitor who left and proclaimed, "They were not very friendly." Of course, that person wasn't either. It's been said, "If you want friends, be a friend." Very true. Sometimes that's it; we don't really want friends.

Here is what a dictionary says about a friend: a person you know well and regard with affection and trust. Those three elements are big. I have to know someone well; that takes time. Affection; I have to like them and have positive feelings for them. Trust; this is probably the biggest. Trust is a fragile thing. It takes time to build and can crumble in an instant.

I belong to a group called the Samson Society. One of the main goals is for men to build true friendship and relationship: on a daily basis. It involves getting to know another man and all his crap and still loving him. That process builds heavy on two of the friendship elements: knowing well and trusting. It involves more listening and less fixing. The truth is that most of the time we know what to do already. We just need someone along for the trip as we walk it out. And sometimes we need a kick in the right place.

I know I need friends and am working to build those relationships. I'm also watching a friendship crumble; someone I hoped I knew well but didn't.

Life can be a long and lonely path and we were not meant to travel alone. Friendship with God and man makes the journey possible. Loners usually end up as road-kill.

Philip

2 comments:

  1. Philip...i agree. Friendships don't come easy. And they are fragile. They require both grace and patience to endure the rough spots. I'm so sorry. Being alone is a terrible place...

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  2. Friendships are like following Jesus. Each are quite simple but very difficult. Simple in that all you have to do is develop a relationship by opening your heart to the open heart of the other. Difficult in that each take a level of dedication that is usually more than we expect. The big difference is that in the case of friendships, Jesus is only as present in the situation as He is invited to be. This is made difficult when trust is broken.

    Broken trust can make a deep friendship shallow for a time, but it need not destroy the friendship entirely. Being on both ends of the issue of broken trust, I've learned one thing that is to me undeniable, and that is everybody loses when somebody needs to win. My dear wife demonstrated that walking with me in darkness and doubt for a time was preferable over walking away. That gave me time to earn her trust again. That's something I've decided to pay forward.

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