Without friendship, the human race cannot thrive. We could survive, sure, but we wouldn’t be living at our full capacity. We wouldn’t be tapping into who we really are: Created beings in the image of a relational God.
Now with that, let me say I am a bad friend.
Or at least that’s what my sweet husband tried to tell me. We were watching a video series on marriage and that evening’s topic was on friendship. The pastor said thatfriendship is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Different types of friendships will go to different levels of intimacy, nonetheless, friendship is the required baseline.
At the end of the video, he told us to ask one another how they think we are doing on the friendship scale. When I asked Ty, he replied,
“You’re a good friend babe…when you want to be.”
Of course he was super gentle and compassionate in his response, so much so that I did not feel offended (for long). But he was right. Ty’s words to me that day were both timely and enlightening. I never realized I was that way with my friends. But as I started to evaluate my friendships and the ones that fizzled, I saw a pattern of declining priority among them.
I realized I am what I like to categorize as a “convenience friend.”
When the stars align and my schedule clears up, then we can try to get coffee. It’s not for lack of desire necessarily, but rather ignorant precedence. I love my friends, probably more than they know, but I wasn’t being intentional about showing them their value in my life.
That night I tossed and turned until 4AM, mulling over the many friendships I’ve probably lost due to my unintentional way of being a friend; or convenience friendship. I felt dichotomized because on one hand I felt so much sorrow for the past, and on the other hand I felt motivated to start showing my friends just how much they mean to me.
I was reminded while reading Colossians 3, that friendship doesn’t just consistent of the DON’T's (don’t gossip, don’t backstab, don’t hate, don’t hurt, etc), but more so of the DO’s (love, humility, patience, kindness, compassion, etc).
You need them to get through this life and they need you.
So this is my challenge to you (and to me!)
This week, write a card, an email, or a text to a friend you have been “convenient” with.
First, ask for their forgiveness for not being the friend they needed. Second, tell them how much you appreciate them and be specific. They will love it!
“Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:7-9).