The idea for this particular post came as I read a tweet from Elevation Church Pastor, Steven Furtick. It read:
“If you only stand beside your friends when they’re winning…you’re a loser.”
I instantly retweeted…with the added comment that I loved the statement.
It got me thinking. I began to think of the friends of mine who have been friends through thick and thin. I have a friend on the Left Coast who has been a friend for 20 years plus now. We have experienced a lot of our grown up, adult lives together. We have shared in experiences like: birthdays, our high school graduations, our weddings, our ministries, the birth of our children (we each have 2), our struggles, our hardships, our losses. We have had seasons where our communication was not as frequent (life has a way of getting busy) but when we connected it was as if we had never been a part. We are friends…no doubt…best of friends. I hope you have friends like this.
I have more friends like that…I love them…they live all over the US…but this post is not about that.
This post is “Convenient Friendship”…as much as the afore-mentioned tweet made me think about the great friends I have, it also made me think of the friends I have lost. I will admit, I have not been the best of friends to everyone that I called a friend. I began to wonder…who did I walk out on that needed me?
Let me define this idea of Convenient Friendship…the word Convenient is defined as; suitable for ones purpose or needs, opportune. Convenient Friendship then, is when someone is in a friendly relationship simply because that friendship is meeting their personal need or its opportune in the moment. In essence, it is only a friendship as long as it remains opportune…add some distress…or some relational mess…and the friendship is no more. I have experienced this…I am sure you have too. I have caused this as well…how about you?
The problem is that we love our comfort and our walls of security…anything that inconveniences us or challenges those comforts tends to really irritate us. So we abandon.
When I was younger, like pre-teen, I had a friend. We hung out together often. We walked to and from school together…hung out…went to the movies. You know all the stuff kids do. One day, as he was at my house hanging out, his mother knocked on the front door. I opened the door…she looked like a ghost…I have never seen someone whose color and life was absent from their skin like that day. She simply said, voice trembling, that my friends little brother was dead. It was intense…more intense than I can explain. A tragic accident had taken his little brothers life. I remember him leaving, running out the door screaming, NO. That was the last time we were friends. I didn’t know how to deal with the reality of life and death…the situation was too difficult to comprehend and therefore I abandoned the ship. Nothing I am proud of but we were only grade-schoolers.
Too often that is what happens in adult life. The difference is, now we are equipped and able to comprehend but its a matter of convenience…or lack there of. When we abandon friends that need us most because we don’t want to get messy…we demonstrate that the friendship is a matter of convenience…not commitment.
I want to be a friend that is committed…not convenient. I hope you do too. The best picture of this kind of friendship is David and Jonathan in the Bible. Talk about friendship…talk about inconvenient. Jonathan’s father, Saul, was trying to kill David…Jonathan’s inheritance and future as king was in jeopardy by David’s existence…thru it all they remained friends. 1 Samuel 18:1-4 tells of the beginning of their covenant friendship; “Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul…then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.” Wow…that is a powerful picture. I would encourage you to read the rest of their story.
I have said all of that to say this…what kind of friend are you? What friendships do you need to repair? What friendships do you need to strengthen?
I hope you, like me, are stirred to be a better friend…one who is committed to the friendship and not just in it cause it’s convenient.
Let me know your thoughts! Be Blessed!