Musings on Friendship
Hey there, thanks for stopping by!
Last week I met up with two of my closest friends for dinner. We spoke about many things, including significant goals for 2017. Interestingly, we spent a good portion of our time on the topic of friendship and what it means to us.
The meaning of friendship has been on my mind quite a lot lately. At the end of 2016, I was experiencing a few transitions in my life that led me to really examine the difference between situational friendship (relationships from school, work, church, groups, social media..etc.) and real authentic friendship – the kind where people go beyond a forced smile and the usual, “how are you?” I stepped into 2017 recognizing that one area of my life where I need to dig a little deeper is my relationship with people I consider to be a friend.
This is not an attempt to vent. I avoid friendship drama like a plague, and thank God I have none. However, I’ve had my fair share of stories where friendships have withered overtime for reasons I won’t get into. As a result, I've come to learn the importance of choosing friends carefully, the importance of initiating dates, meet-ups and conversations, the importance of setting boundaries and releasing yourself from unhealthy friendships that will stunt your growth and cause you to sin your soul. And finally, the importance of giving yourself grace to understand that we’re not meant to be forever friends with everyone. Some friendships do come to an end and that’s okay.
Jim Rhon once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Do you agree?
I do! I’ve seen this quote outwork in my own life. Here’s the thing. I believe the people you spend time with can have a huge impact on your core values, your sanity and your happiness. Never ever underestimate someone’s ability to influence you and your ability to influence others. You can be the most positive and optimistic person on earth, but if you spend a lot of time with friends who are constantly negative and pessimistic, that attitude will eventually transfer to your conversations, it will drain your mental energy and some days you will feel uninspired.
Proverbs 13:20 reminds us, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
It’s so important to be aware of the people you surround yourself with. As I try to dig deeper and build true and authentic relationships I had to ask myself a few questions.
- Are you surrounded by people who will build, sharpen and encourage you to be your best self?
- Do you understand the difference between real authentic friendship and situational friendship?
- What energy do you bring to your relationships?
- Are your conversations building people up or breaking them down? Is it edifying and full of grace?
- Are you intentional? Do you initiate dates with your friends or do you wait for others to do so?
I try to be better in everything I do. I want to be an intentional friend in 2017 and beyond, how about you?