I’ve talked about friendship on the blog before and trust me— I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’m human and I make mistakes just as much as the next person. But more now than ever, I see people throwing friendships by the wayside because someone didn’t measure up to their unfair ‘expectations’ of what they believe a friend should be. I’m guilty as well. I’ve made the same mistake in the past but after tons of prayer and soul searching, I realized that I had been going about the whole friendship thing the wrong way. The older I get, the more I realize how truly significant friendships are. Growing up, my mother would always tell me that relationships are the most valuable things that you can possess in this world because they can take you places that money can’t. This has held true in every phase of my life. So why do we treat people as though they’re disposable? Why are we so quick to give up friendships when there’s a riff instead of working through it to salvage the relationship?
Most of us young adults appear to have a one-dimensional view of friendships. And it’s not necessarily any fault of our own—in most cases it’s all that we’ve known. Some of us have had the same friends since middle or high school and we’re expecting that same level of comradery from a friend that we’ve made within the last year. It just doesn’t work that way. We have to learn to appreciate that friendship for what it is. I’ve learned that every connection will not be this deep, heaven-sent connection and that is OKAY. Whenever I would meet new people, I would judge all of them by the same standard that I held my best friend of ten years to and that’s just not fair. There will be some friends that you can call at 2 am during a crisis and some that are good for weekend trips to the mall. That mall friend is no less significant than the other; they just play a different role. We have to gain an understanding of the role that certain friends play in our lives and cater our expectations to that role. That way we can fully appreciate them in that capacity.
And another thing—we have to learn the art of forgiveness. Just as sure as the sky is blue, friends will let you down in some way. It can be something as a petty as not returning a text message or something as harmful as a gossip. Mistakes happen. If you have a good friend—I mean a really good friend, that’s sincerely apologetic and the issue can be worked out, work it out and move forward. In that same token, when a friend shows you a flaw, be mindful of how you judge them. Every flaw does not mean that person is out to harm you. Accept that your friend is human just like you are and continue to show the same love and grace that you would want in return. Now, I am by no means saying hold on to friends that don’t mean you well. I am simply saying hold on to the good friends that you have—they are far and few between. If we spend our entire lives getting rid of friends that make mistakes, I can promise you that life will be lonely and we will have missed out on our purpose. After all, God sent us here to bring light to a dark and broken world; not a perfect one. In all ways possible, let’s show grace.
Let’s chat! What are your thoughts on this, Jewels? What’s your friendship philosophy?