August 15, 2015

Godly Friendships

I recently attended one of the most amazing conferences in North Carolina and it made quite a difference in my life; I’m still trying to process it all.  SheSpeaks, a conference for like-minded, Christian women was held a few weeks ago and I have to say that I have never experienced such an outpouring of love, support and genuine goodness.  There were 800 women worshipping, praying, learning, laughing and loving on friends as well as strangers.  Actually, those who were strangers the day we started ended as the closest friends from the experiences we all shared in our own lives and during that week. 

I will share more as the weeks go on because there is so much I can’t possibly tell it all in one post.  But I will share a few thoughts that bring me to this post today...

After being with so many amazing women that week, I began to examine my own relationships, especially the ones I have with my friends and acquaintances.  I thought about the friends that I haven’t seen in years and the moment we text or email, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat.  I thought about the ones I became close with through working together as an intern, co-worker, or supervisor and feel very close to some and very distant from others.  I look at the ones I have with my church family and the ones with neighbors or those I’ve just so happened to meet along the way.

I reflect again back to SheSpeaks and remember how when I didn’t know a single person out of those 800 women, I always had someone to eat dinner with, to pray with during the week, to chat and laugh with, and to feel encouraged and supported by.  And did I mention that I didn’t know anyone when the conference started?  That means they were all strangers, but it never felt like it.  So, then I think…do I have “friends” that feel like strangers?  Do I feel supported and loved and encouraged and prayed for? Then I think what do I want my friendships to look like?  Am I just having people around me so I don’t feel lonely, or are these relationships nurturing and fulfilling? 

There are some things in relationships that should be non-negotiable.  One that is very important to me and should be to you as well is respect.  If someone doesn’t respect you, your opinion, your feelings, your vision; then you may want to re-evaluate that relationship. 

Another important aspect of a relationship is support.  If you have a friend that doesn’t have your back in whatever way you need them to, then that relationship should be re-evaluated.  If you are sick and they don’t visit, or you’re trying to eat healthy and they seem to want to jeopardize it, if you begin sharing about SheSpeaks and they act uninterested, or you tell them you are pitching a book to a publisher and they never ask you the title….re-evaluate. 

I know of someone who has invited a friend over to their home many times and has never been invited to their friend’s home; someone who always talked about what their friend looked like in a passive aggressive way (hair, clothes, weight), yet never acknowledged themselves how unhealthy their lifestyle was in those same areas; someone who told a friend something in confidence and then the friend shared what was discussed.  There are so many scenarios I could expound upon here, but I think the point is clear.       

I have tweaked relationships, so to speak, and actually ended some for a variety of reasons.  And it was ok; it took some getting used to, but in the end it was ok.   

I encourage everyone to examine the relationships you have in your life and decide whether they are worth it.  Worth your time, your effort, your love, the aggravation or the hurt, and if from this moment on you will continue or walk away.  There is nothing wrong with either decision just as long as it is best for you and something God would be pleased with. 

What is important to you when you think of friendship?  Please share your thoughts.  

No comments

Post a Comment