The blog is an extract from a message written a few years ago when I was working in the corporate world.
It seems to be the case with me most recently that something happens in which then triggers something in my spirit and results in a blog post. So you guys already know the deal.
After cracking a few jokes with my line manager, I was sitting down at my desk minding my business staring out into the window to unwind my brain. When a lady comes sharply round the corner and enters our zone. Two other women then saw her, smiled and said hi as she walked on by. But as soon as she had got far enough, the smiles faded away and one whipped out a scowl and they both began to whisper.
Now this made me sad for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was very unprofessional and there were quite a few of us around. But secondly and most importantly, it was so bitchy and indicative of the duplicitously sneaky nature of their character. Now, one of them is already a known and approved gossiper and consequently her mouth has made a negative name for her on the proverbial streets. But I was now thinking about the other person. She is younger and from the interactions I’ve had with her, appears to be a lovely genuine young woman. I’ve never seen her bitch about people and our other colleagues speak so well of her. But if someone who had never met her or heard anything about her was to encounter what I saw, it would definitely be a bad first impression. They are not the only people I see engaging in low-toned conversations, some are so hungry to gossip they talk with their hands over their mouths. So after a series of thoughts and spiritual downloads, I was moved onto the topic of friendship.
Friendship is a topic that is usually accompanied with roses & chocolates so forgive me in advance if this post appears quite pessimistic lol. That’s not the intention, but if you haven’t grasped by now, I’m here to open your eyes to the reality of the world we live in and offer spiritual revelation when directed. I believe that there is plenty good in the world and by and large our friends are good, but dear reader I think it’s about time I asked you a question; is good really good enough?
Time – it’s not quantity its quality
Time is not a prerequisite in friendship. There are some people that have known me less than a year but have a stronger bond than others that have known me for what feels like a lifetime. This is not to say that the old-timers are bad, but rather friendship is ONLY strengthened by the investment made by both parties. Take university for instance, campus life was very convenient and friendships were strengthened as a result of it. The true test of university friendships are whether they transcend the environment and last when you no longer have the luxury of convenience. Many of mine didn’t even last till third year through my own choice and from the college I attended, I only have 2 friends that I keep in regularly contact with.
I’ve caught my revelation, been given my word and in order to get the best out of people in life, you will have to hold them to certain standards. In the new season I have entered, friendship 101 is too basic for where I’m headed. So to answer the question I first raised, unfortunately good is no longer good enough. As you’ve all probably noticed, the older you get the less true friends you have. This is because we usually become more circumspect of the company we keep and the people we bless with the gift of our friendship. We may also notice that God has placed the most unlikely people in our lives to be a blessing to us, and us to them. I have people in my life that can boast to have known me for 15+ years but they will not be invited to my wedding, nor will they play with my children and we will not grow old together; that’s not sad, its just a fact of life. Likewise, there will be people that will change my life and will know me for a short period of time. So learn to be discerning of the times and purpose of the friendships you have.
The majority of the people I have parted with have happened through the natural growing apart process. Others have happened as a result of strife or misunderstanding on their part towards me and through that revelation of a character defect, I have opted out of the friendship. That’s not to say I’m a perfect friend, but those who know me know that I am a self-sacrificial friend and will give my all, so once I decided to call time on a friendship it’s because the soil is fallow and no good seed can be sown or good fruit brought to life. Now it probably seems harsh, but time is so precious that we cannot afford to be careless with how we choose to invest it. Friendships require investment that we must try where possible, to invest it wisely.
In each season of life, I’ve learnt the art of being selective. As I’ve grown I Christ and grasped an unshakable understanding of my purpose I’m become very vigilant about the goings on of life. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 ‘when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ So when you know where you’re going, the Holy Spirit starts to teach you to put away / remove yourself from the things in life that can hinder you from getting there. It’s sometimes sad when people say ‘have you spoken to xyz person’ and when I say ‘no’ they respond ‘ahh but you were so close in school/college/Uni/life’ to which I respond ‘I know but people grow apart’. It is sad when a friendship is weakened, but in all things remember it’s all about seasons and purpose, two things that people rarely share at the same time.
A praying friend
A praying friend is a staying friend. Ok, so I tried to make it rhyme but I hope you can get what I’m trying to say. Friends that pray together stay together. There are people in my life who have known me for decades but don’t really know me. They don’t know the struggles, battles and things I’ve had to contend with in prayer, but there are those who do. Being able to go through life knowing that there is at least one person praying for you is such a reassurance. My friends and I have a Whats app group which started off being used for gist and lols (very much like this blog), but we changed tact and really use it as a place to build each other up.
Prayer in Christian friendship for me in non-negotiable. If you call me a friend, pray for me! I pray for all my friends and thank God that there are things they may never have to go through because it’s been covered and dealt with in the place of prayer. Prayer has not only saved me form heartache but has also helped to save and strengthen my friendships. In the past I’ve had jealous friends, hurtful friends and inconsiderate friends. It’s only through prayer and revelation that I have been able to approach the friendship from a particular angle, put corrective mechanisms in place and consequently have us both come out stronger.
A few years back, I suffered my first (and prayerfully last) incredible heartache from a broken friendship. I’m talking intense heart breaking, gut wrenching pain so sharp that I cried for a few days straight. Even after the fact, I often cried just thinking about that day – it was a deadily day LOL! The events panned out in such a way that though I am technical still an acquaintance of that person, it destroyed the foundation our friendship was supposed to be built on; trust. So it was only through prayer that I was able to salvage and strengthen elements of said friendship and learn to pick myself back up. It was the hardest thing for me to learn to let go of my hurt and forgive those involved. From start to completion, it was a process that took several months with some of those involved and took years for another. It’s an experience I have never forgotten but it one I’ve learnt tremendously from. The forgiveness was the hardest because I am such an incredibly loyal friend, so to have that loyalty thrown in my face was probably the worse feeling in the world at that time. The scripture that got me through was John 14:16 ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever’. Literally it was a pain that could only ever be healed spiritually and something that forced me to grow in the area of friendships.
Friendship is power and you should always be careful over who you give license to play with your emotions! The nature of love in friendship is one that precedes the eros love of marriage, and for those who are blessed, their eros love will be based on that friendship love! So it’s a real blending of hearts where friendship is concerned. The hurt of previous experience allowed fear to rule my others friendship because I was scared of being cut as deeply, but it was hard to deny who and how God had made me. You have to be who God called you to be in its entire fullness!! Whilst I was serving abroad, my girl Promise spoke such a powerful words over me that it made me realise that though I may get hurt in the process of friendship, I must always say faithful to the character God has given me – one of loyalty and love. That’s what true friendship is, giving all of you irrespective of what’s being returned.
There ends Part 1, stay tuned for Parts 2,3 & 4!
So let’s spread the word, feed a spirit, encourage a soul!
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