Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Real Friendship: Part 2

“As iron sharpens iron so one friend sharpens another.” - Proverbs 12:17

Who you choose as your friends (and of course if they choose to be friends with you) will greatly influence who you become. For instance, who you are friends with will determine your income. Statistically, one’s income will usually not be more or less then 10% of one’s core friends. People tend to change themselves to be like those they hang around with. If you choose to become close with lazy people you will become lazy and if you choose to become close with hard workers, you will become a hard worker. The same goes for addictions, faith, political persuasion, sexual morality, personal health, etc. Truly we do sharpen (and dull) each other.

This is of course a generalization as it is possible to be rich and have poor friends or be on fire for God and yet be close friends with atheists. But such is always the exception and not the rule. Choosing friends wisely is important. What do you wish to become? Can you remain close friends with someone who is the opposite of what you wish to become? Sometimes difficult decisions need to be made on this front. One must see themselves honestly and ask themselves if they are strong enough to be true to themselves and their ideals and still remain friends with someone. If not, one must be willing to let that close friendship go.

This is problematic of course because two of the traits of friendship are loyalty and acceptance. How could you be a true friend and let the close friendship go? People go through stages of course and what if the friend is just going through one? I think this is valid and should be considered. But if after time you find the friend is not changing and you feel like you are sliding down to a place you don’t want to go, radical action is needed. It doesn’t always mean abandoning a friendship completely but it may mean moving a relationship from close to more casual. This is of course incredibly painful, but may be the necessary lesser of two evils.

Hmmm . . . this post got long. Am I making sense? Think I’m too callous here?

May Light increase!


Mark said...

Hmmm . . . no comments. Perhaps this is too sensitive a topic!

stacey said...

Ok Mark, I'll take a crack at this one. I'm always up for almost any topic! :)

I found when I was younger I surrounded myself with people who were "most like me". Not "teenage" young... as I seemed to have friends from all circles. But more in my twenties. Now it's difficult to find people who are a) in the same situation I am in b) something in common on a myriad of levels.

I think too men and women choose friends differently--so it seems.

I am less inclined now to need to find people who share similar interests or who I aspire to be like. With years and age you become more sound in who you are... um, I'm comfortable with many different people I guess. Someone who thinks differently then me now doesn't necessarily rock my boat so to say. However, with age the number of "friends" I choose to have in my life is less.. maybe because of time too? Though my relationship with my friends now seems to be tighter, stronger... Friendship means different things too...

But yes, there were times it was best to cut certain people out of my life. Sad as that is to say.

Hmm, my comments could get to be a book... so I will leave it at this. Those are some of my thoughts and experiences.

Thanks for your thoughts. As always, interesting topics and enjoyable to read!