What a seemingly warm sentiment to calligraphy or cross stitch and give to someone.
But as I've aged, I've come to strongly disagree with this statement. In fact, I find it highly suspect and suspiciously hyped! (Try saying that three times quickly.)
Now, most of you already know how I feel about friendship. True friendship is a rare treasure meriting:
- copious investment
- prose of appreciation
- loyalty bordering on ridiculous
- and GRATITUDE! Lots and Lots of gratitude!
I don't spend much time working on friendships that give me nothing in return. Do you? Most of my friends think I'm witty, enriching, creative, a great speaker and lovely. (Well, I added the lovely part myself.)
The point? Healthy friendships should be a balance of give and take. But we seldom maintain friendships that don't benefit us.
Most friendship arrangements go something like this:
- You make me smile? I'll keep you around!
- You aggravate me? I'll dump you!
- You encourage or even flatter me? I'll watch your cat for a month!
- You refuse to jump through this hoop? Don't call me anymore!
In today's world, we like things nice and tidy; comfortable; matching our vision of perfection. Friendship makes all that possible! The control of whether you stay in my life or go, rests completely with ME!
Family? You're stuck with family! And that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Several years ago, Frank and I read a book by Gary Thomas entitled Sacred Marriage. The premise of the book focused on God's ultimate purpose for marriage. It's not about making me feel good or even about meeting my needs. Marriage should make me more like Christ!
And I don't become more like Christ when I'm surrounded by people who are there simply to appease, applaud and please me! OUCH!!
Truth hurts but helps too.
- The sibling that insists on reminding you of your most embarrassing middle school moments? Shaving off some pride!
- The parent that perpetually tells you how THEY would raise your children? Keeping you on your knees! (How do they forget that they raised you? That never made sense to me!)
- The uncle that monopolizes every conversation at every family gathering? Reminding us how unattractive self-focus is!
Yep, God's sand paper in disguise!
We can not run away from family. Somehow or other they keep showing up at every holiday, every wedding, every baby dedication. And they bring their annoying, irritating, demanding ways with them.
Which means I don't get MY way! Which means I have to learn to accommodate others! Which means I'm putting them first! Which means...................becoming more like Christ.
Just a thought as you prepare to head over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's House for Thanksgiving!