“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”– Proverbs 18:24
I have been reflecting on friendship a bit. Having friends is great, but I am not sure if friendship is viewed today as it should be. When we look at social networking, mainly Facebook, we see followers and friends being used a lot. We can add and drop friends without thinking twice about it. Unfortunately, I think this is what friendship has amounted to these days.
Friendship is important and something we need to hold true to. However, when we have a society that bases friendship on a “like” button, we may be losing the concept of friendship quickly in this culture. Some people make a list of non-negotiable items for their future spouses, but should they do it for friends too? I think it might be worth it.
I felt like I needed to list out a few needs I have from my friends. So, I thought I would share it. They are not hard, but they are not easy. You will see what I mean from number 1:
1) Accountability– My friends know I am a firm believer in C.S. Lewis’ quote “The prayer that precedes all other prayer is may the real I meet the real thou (or me meet the real you)”. They know I am real with them and I expect them to be real with me. If I am stepping outside boundaries, hurting Christ’s image, or even writing poorly, I trust them to be speak truth into my life and hold me to a higher standard. Jesus would.
2) Honesty– Like I said, truth is different from honesty. I expect them to be honest with me. Don’t tell me you are staying at home tonight, but then I see a post about you watching a great movie or eating amazing sushi. Be honest enough to say you have other plans because true friendship does not hold grudges or end because the other person is having too much fun without you.
3) Tension– This is a confusing one. Despite what we might think, tension is good for friendships and relationships. It has to be healthy. If I have friends that agree with everything I say or believe, then I am missing out on growth or strengthening of who I am. This healthy tension grows both of us. If I say something to offend my friend, then number one and two come into effect. Unfortunately, today, if I say something and one of my 1300 Facebook friends doesn’t like it, well, I am “un-friended” and no conversation is had. How does that create growth or enhance our friendship? It doesn’t. This is why the idea of a Facebook “friend” needs to be re-thought.
These are three things I hope to receive from my friends. There might be other ideas involved within these three, but for the most part, this is it. Good friends are hard to find, but I hope you find one if not more. I know I have many and I hope I am as good to them as they are to me.
Question: Do you have a non-negotiable list for close friends? If so, what are they? If not, do you think it is necessary?