Tuesday, July 27, 2010

True Meaningful Lasting Friendships

We hear a lot about friendships- What is BFF? (Best Friends Forever) How do we establish long lasting friends? How many friends do you have on Facebook (can you really have 4,000 friends!)? How many really true friends can one have? Why isn’t this a friendly church? Plus there are many more questions regarding friendships.

The subject came up at an emerging leaders meeting at the Liberty Fellowship conference a few weeks ago. How does LF help one to establish true lifelong friendships? It was evident to those there that many in LF had true lasting friendships. That is a fact but how they were formed became the topic of discussion. I will use Debi and me as an example.

Some felt that the strong friendships we had were formed in a later era (can’t believe I wrote that) when many of LF were in Liberty Bible College. It is true that we began many great friendships there. We all had many things in common as we were going through the same difficult times going to school and trying to make a living. Many of us shared meals and helped each other; so it was during these testing times we became friends.

But, as Debi pointed out to the group, the true lasting friendships were developed after we left Bible School. We made an effort even though separated by distance to develop those friendships to what they are today!

Yes, ‘to have friends one must show himself friendly,’ but to have deep lasting friendship one must sacrifice to develop it. It costs time, money, blood, sweat and tears! If you are not willing to go after it, it will not happen! No one can help you make friends. It is up to you and you alone!

Debi said that developing a friendship is like courting. You have to select someone to develop that friendship with and then spend time with them to see if it is a fit. You may click together, you may not! Admit it, you may not have the same DNA fit! No condemnation! Just keep trying until you feel it is a fit. Then, pursue it at all costs!

Hints,
Find someone that you can relate to, it may be same interests, same age children, sports, etc.
Find someone that will be concerned for your soul!
Find someone that will stick closer than a brother!
Find someone that will invest sacrificially in the relationship.
Find someone that will be there for you. 24/7 availability!
Find someone that you can pick up with at the same spot as the last time you were together even though separated by time and distance.
Do fun things together. For instance, after a LF Summer Conference some of us would go to the Smoky Mtns. to camp together. Yep, sit around a camp fire, eat smores, play card games, and see each as we really are i.e., without makeup, smelly, etc.
And, then you be that someone for others!

Remember, at best, you may be only able to develop 2 or 3 deep personally satisfying friendships (friendships that are not hampered by time, distance, etc). If you are married, this will be in addition to your spouse (that is to be your first most important and satisfying true friendship period; click here for previous blog on your spouse being your best friend).

2 comments:

Pat Siverson said...

So very true Pastor! There is a big difference between a friend and an aquaintance. You are right - friends are always there. They are willing to go the extra mile. Over the years Ed & I have had many aquaintances but only a few people that we counted as intimate friends. When you open yourself up to what it takes to be a friend you also open yourself up to the potential for deep hurts as well. I guess that's just part of it and fortunately doesn't happen often. But the rewards are far greater and sooo worth the effort. Looking forward to spending time with you and Debi tonight. Though our friendship goes back only 9 years, we hope to be sharing stories 30 years from now! See you later friend!
Pat Siverson

Pastor David said...

So true Pat, great insight to add to the discussion. We feel like we have known you a lifetime as friends, and I am sure it will continue on! love you guys- see you tonight! Pastor David