If you’ve ever said the words, “Let’s get together sometime,” and then never done it… raise your hand.
If you’ve ever said the words, “Let’s stay in touch,” and then not done it… raise your hand.
If you’ve ever said the words, “You are one of my best friends in the whole world,” and yet hardly ever do anything with that person… only talk with them a couple times a year… barely send a text per month to them… forget to wish them happy birthday on Facebook even though you saw the notification… raise your hand.
Phew! Good, I thought I was the only one.
If you read the post this past Saturday, then you know that I went to a funeral which motivated me to consider how I’m living life… how I’m loving people… how good a friend I’m being. I mean, we all want great friends, but the King James Version of Proverbs 18:24 says that if we want to have friends, we have to be a friend to others. I’d like to suggest that we could expand that to say… if we want to have great friends, we have to be a great friend to others.
But I haven’t always been the greatest of friends to those I consider friends to me. (Case in point is the story from my post on January 27th. You can read it here.) So this week… if you are a fellow struggler in the area of being a great friend… let’s begin a quest together. Let’s look at 6 Keys To Being A Great Friend. And for added value, I’ve invited one of my best friends to be a guest blogger with me this week. I will introduce you to this incredible person later in the week… you’re going to love them as much as I do. For now, let’s just look at the first key.
If we’re going to be a great friend to those in our lives, we really must be…
Key #1 – FAITHFUL
Let’s just start with this. To be a great friend, we have to be in it for the long haul. We can’t give up the first time we get upset with the other person. We can’t bail out the first time we have to give more than we receive in the relationship. We can’t quit because we are separated due to geography or schedule. To be a great friend requires faithfulness on our part.
Faithfulness isn’t glamourous. It isn’t sexy. But it is attractive.
Faithfulness isn’t easy. It isn’t without effort. But it is simple.
I’m talking about commitment instead of convenience. Our motivation has to be faithfulness instead of feelings… if we want to be a great friend and thereby have a great friendship. And I want to be a great friend.
Some of my best friends in life… okay, I’ll be more transparent… ALL of my best friends in my life… simply refuse to quit being my friend. Regardless of my ridiculousness, they stick with me. Regardless of my lack of faithfulness, they remain faithful. Regardless of how much I may frustrate them, they come back like they are gluttons for punishment. They reflect who I know God to be… faithful to me in spite of me.
That’s the kind of friend I want to be. It’s a great friend who is faithful to you… committed to you. It’s a truly great friend who says, “I’m not going away. You can’t get rid of me. You’re stuck with me as a friend whether you like or not. I’ve chosen to be your friend and I’m not changing my mind. So, you might as well get used to it because I am determined to see us have a great friendship.”
This past week, I had the opportunity to make a decision to be just such a friend. It hasn’t even been a week yet… so I will say that I made a decision to be a great friend. Only time (and my actions) will tell if I am faithful to that person and turn out to be a great friend to them.
But I was motivated by a past failure to be a faithful friend. Several years ago, a really great friend of mine went through an incredibly difficult time in life. I reached out to him initially, but gave up after what I felt like was him pushing me away. About a year ago, I found out that I really hurt him by giving up so easily on our friendship. He felt like no one stuck with him when he needed it most. He realized that he was a little raw and pushed some people away, but he felt like his true friends would stick with him. I loved him. I wanted to be there. But I wasn’t willing to push past the awkwardness and discomfort to be faithful. As a result, we’ve had to start over and try to rebuild that friendship.
I haven’t arrived, but I am working toward being a great friend. And I’m starting with being a faithful friend.
If you’re ready to go on this quest with me, then let’s take that first step by letting our friends know we are going to stick with them in life… we are going to be FAITHFUL!
Speaking of faithfulness, be sure to stick with this blog all week to discover the “6 Keys To Being A Great Friend.” And hey, speaking of friendship, why not invite a friend to read it along with you this week? Maybe you can challenge each other to be great friends.