Wisdom of Kammbia 3.27: What Is Friendship?

original_Wooden_Recipe_For_Friendship_Plaque

A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.” {Proverbs 17:17 ESV}

Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.” {Proverbs 27:10 ESV}

Those two verses of scripture got me to thinking about friendship. What is friendship? Why is so important to the human experience?

Well, I had a conversation with someone last week that told me they were leaving our church for another church closer to home because of the lack of friendships they had.Friendship in our culture is fractured. We have work friends, after work friends, church friends, and childhood friends. Unfortunately, not of these friends really intersect or interconnect with each other in today’s modern life. However, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my Christian life is that God connects our entire life together: family, work, social life and even friends. So I believe it’s important to bring every area of life together into a cohesive unit for his Glory.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned about friendship and how it can be interconnected to all the other areas in our hectic, fast-paced lifestyle:

1) In order to have friends, one must become a friend: Because of our disconnected and fractured lifestyle I just mentioned it has become harder to be a friend. With the demands of work, family, and church, it has become much easier to only focus on your life rather than someone else’s life. And it hard to become a friend when you are only focused on yourself and your immediate concerns. Also, friendship takes time and there is a rhythm to every friendship. Some friendships have a rhythm like a rock-n-roll tune and some friendships have a rhythm like a smooth jazz song and we must pay attention to what the rhythm of the friendship is and don’t force it to be something it is not.
2) Don’t go into a friendship with an agenda: I believe we as Christians can be guilty of this principle quite a bit. We start a friendship by inviting them to church or a bible study without ever really getting to know them as human beings. Sometimes we can see them more a soul to be saved than an actual friend. I understand the desire for that, but people want to be appreciated for who they are first not what you want them to become. I remember the person who led me to Christ nearly a decade ago and she knew my passion for novels and music. We started a friendship from there and she never tried to force the Bible on me or tried to get me to go to church with her every Sunday. She took a genuine interest in what I was interested in and the friendship developed a rhythm from that point and over time it led me to having a spiritual life. Please keep the agenda out of friendship and people will be more open into becoming your friend.

3) You are not going to click or connect with everyone you attempt a friendship with: I’ve had to learn this one especially among other believers in the Lord. People have different personalities or temperaments and sometimes you can click someone better than another person. Don’t take it personally. We as human beings are unique and distinct and will always gravitate towards some people more than others. I heard the concept that we should “date for friends like we do when we dated for our spouses.” Oops…I know that may be sensitive subject for some of you, but I like the concept though. Sometimes it may take a failed attempt or attempts at a friendship in order have a real friendship thrive.

Well, I hope these tips will give you some encouragement and that we all pursue genuine friendship.

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