Well, well, well…. we meet again, virtual readers. Long time, no talk, right? Actually, not really because well… you know… the computer screen and all… but you catch my drift.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, but promise not to tell anyone? Pssh..who am I kidding, a secret… on the world wide web? Yeah, no. If you put something on the internet, honey, it ain’t a secret no more. Anyway, I’ve just recently managed to escape the dead- end ditch known as writer’s block. *cue enthusiastic applause* Now, I’m not talking about a minor struggle here, folks. No, I’m talking about a deep incapability to formulate my thoughts into words for a steady three months. In fact, I have 12 drafts that still sit in my box… unfinished. I’m still recovering, so bear with me… That’s okay, though. I’ve got something that I want to share with you, and I’ve made it this far, so I’m running with it.
Let’s talk about friendships for a second, shall we? True friendships, that is.
You know? Those really awesome (real) people that build you up and encourage you? I’m not talking about virtual friends here, Y’all, although they can be great. I’m talking about, real, genuine, honest friendships. But what exactly does that mean? How can I tell if someone is a true friend, and better yet, how do I ensure that I myself am one? Well, I certainly don’t claim to be a Dr. Phil over here, but I do have a few thoughts that I would like to share. Take ’em or leave ’em, I’m bringing ’em anyway. Buckle your seatbelts, folks, it’s going to be a long ride.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines friendship as “the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends; a state of mutual trust and support.”
” A state of mutual trust and support.” Hmm…
Let’s just take a long, dramatic (virtual) pause to truly grasp the critical depth of that statement. Ready, set, go….
Pretty powerful, right? True friendship is such a beautiful gift from God. Unfortunately, just as the majority of God-ordained gifts, the concept of friendship has been sorely- “superficial-ized.” ( You like that word? It’s from the Delaney Dictionary, actually. It’s set to hit the stores in December. Pre-order yours today.) Throughout the years, society has morphed friendship into a shallow self- affirmation system. What can I get out of this friendship? How can I manipulate this person to like me? How can I benefit?
Warning: If any of these thoughts are prevalent in any relationship, you better run like the wind, honey. Be careful.
The major problem here? The word, I. How can I? What can I do? The funny thing about friendships is that they’re not I–based. True friendship emanates from selfless love for someone, not shallow ulterior motives. Superficial friendships, however, have one considerable flaw. There’s no legitimate concern. There’s no genuine honesty in any of it.
“Although, Jerry did comment three heart emojis on my selfie last week, so I guess that kind of friendship can be pretty cool.”
I don’t know a Jerry, but you get my point. The shallowness of the newly- defined friendships of society truly breaks my heart. Where’s the authenticity? Where’s the genuine love? I don’t know where those important attributes might be hiding, but I say that we ought to find them, and fast.
Let’s bring genuine friendship back. Let’s bring praying for hurting friends back. Let’s bring face- to- face conversations back. Let’s bring selfless commitment back. It’s time that we start fighting for true friendship. And we gotta “bring it.” See what I did there?
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. Just because we live in a society with a misconstrued concept of friendship does NOT mean that all friendship nowadays is superficial. Oh goodness, no. However, it is imperative that we take precautionary measures to ensure that we surround ourselves with true friends in addition to being one. It’s time that we do an introspective “motive- check.” If our motives aren’t honorable, change them. If the compliment isn’t honest, refrain.
Friendship is a beautiful gift from God, designed to harmonize His Creation, and it’s time that we treat it as such. Be purposeful in your pursuit of friendships. Be prayerful in seeking discernment of a friendship’s authenticity. But most importantly, be prepared with genuine love and pure motives as you approach your friendships.
Proverbs 18: 24 –
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.