One of the rarest things in friendship I find is open rebuke. Sometimes a friend may not be making the wisest decision in life but instead of rebuking them, giving them counsel, we don’t say anything. It may be out of fear that rebuke is avoided. When it comes to rebuke there is always the possibility of a friend rejecting rebuke. It may feel like a rejection of you but it isn’t. Rebuke is like the testing a friendship. Truth is never the easiest pill to swallow and since rebuke comes so rarely it is hard to take. But if there is never a pill to swallow, how will we know whether the friendship is built on tougher stuff than what we think?
One of the essential marks of friendship I feel I lack the most is constancy. According to the book Made for friendship there are six markers to a deeper relationship. There is love, constancy, rebuke, truth, trust and empathy. I feel like I struggle with more than one but specifically the one that comes to mind the most is constancy. Being a friend everyday, when I mostly want to keep to myself, hide in a bubble, or get lost in my own little world. Instead of messaging back I find myself waiting and even after a time when I think I should say something, I still don’t bring myself to do it. I need to learn to be more giving in general, of my time, resources, and of self. I’ve never been that good in doing so because for so long I have felt myself to be a burden on others.
This book describes friendship as lanes on a freeway. the further left you stay on the freeway the closer the relationship. Some people get on and off the freeway through different times in your life and others stay on the freeway switching lanes due to time, space, or relative seasons. there are few that ever make it to the carpool lane and stay on it. Thats the lane where the deepest friendships form. For me I’ve had only a handful of relationships that have ever made it to that lane and stayed on it. It is those friends that I am grateful for because when things got rough they were there to empathize and console me.
The marker of truth, I feel, is also a marker with which I struggle. The book says that friends don’t just know the truth about each other but the whole truth. “True friends walk in the light together”
1 John 1:7 says, “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Light and dark are polar opposites, they cannot coexist. We hide in the dark, where in the light all things are seen. True friends walk in the light together, exposed in the light. I really like what the book says, ” Walking in the light, then, isn’t about being perfect; it’s about admitting we are not.” All of my life I never wanted help, I felt that if I asked for help people would assume I am useless; that I can’t do things on my own. Psychologically I think this stems from past hurts. Currently its a hurdle I need to jump every time I find myself in need of help. I think it also stems from pride. I think that’s why God puts me in so many situations where I need help. the Bible says pride comes before the fall. And my, has that led me to many falls. I’ve so often allowed myself to hold on to things because, rather than admit my failures, I’d drown in them. But that’s so harmful. God doesn’t want us to fall. that’s why he puts things like ‘pride comes before the fall’ in order for us to avoid the consequences of sin.
I think it’s important to constantly evaluate yourself. There is no growth if you can’t become aware of your failures. I think its great that there are books that I can read to help me realize the things I should work on. I hope little snippets of things I learn and share can help others practice these things as well because we definitely need good friends in this world.
With that I will end this blog.