Friday, January 6, 2012

Keep Your Friends Close...?

The complete saying is keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Not to completely dissect the sentence grammatically or what every single word, the word, but is there for the opposite of what was previously stated. Never mind having to keep your friends close as opposed to them wanting to be there in the first place, or that you know who your enemies are and would have them closer to you; none of those things can truly make or break you when having wisdom at the helm. Yet, what it can be is the relentless, nagging issue of what you constitute as a friend.

Shock isn't even a close description of what I have discovered in these past few years of my life. I have watched people gravitate towards me with interest and we have talked to the point of exhaustion and still the next day have so much to say to each other. The give and take process of stimulating conversation is the fledgling seeds of a wonderful friendship. There is agreement, common interests and new things one discovers in the other yet still willing to learn those new things. The shock comes when all of that was in pretense because of the position you are in to assist them with whatever they need. Would that you no longer have that position (whether it be in employment, your opinion, friends or a relative of a prominent person) how interested would this supposed friend be (Proverbs 14:20 AMP)?

In my place of employment, I work with the geriatric community. Most are very quick to get to know the new person so they can adjust that this new individual will be the one the resident has to call if ever in trouble (fall or other medical emergency). The new employee realizes this or there isn't any reason in obtaining the position. Others couldn't care less. You are hired as the help, so do your job is the attitude. An attitude that cannot bother the new employee. People are people and can change at a whim. Then there are those selected few that truly have no interest in being a friend to the new employee, but because of his/her accessibility to keys, office supplies, files and the like they smile every morning, look for things in their home that they don't need anymore and just knew the new person could use, they are a wealth of useless information and mindless drivel. The new employee smiles and continues to do what is needed to maintain the job. The day doesn't come as swift as one would think when all of those conversations and gifts will be put to some use. I had a woman ask for me to make copies of a letter she found amusing. Making copies costs all of the other residents a dime each. This woman felt that because she had spoken to me so many times and in her mind we developed a friendship, why wouldn't I make copies for her for free? She also asked of other supplies that she could have asked any of the other office staff during business hours but waited for me. I maintained  the same attitude I have with all of the residents. Whether I am talked about behind my back or to my face, the rules maintain to be the same. This particular woman was livid. I don't think she has spoken to me since.

Thirty year friendships can go through disagreements because they have so many other things that they have agreed with. They have been through so much and have been there for each other. The strength of the two individuals is a bond that cannot be broken unless one of the two breaks it. I use to hear of so many people that have had these life long friendships. They smile at each other seemingly that the two of them are thinking the same  thing that they had to weather together. Those relationships aren't as many as they use to be or they aren't reported as often. I envy those that have such a friendship with another.

My children think that I scrutinize with people too much which is why I don't have those long termed friendships. I listened and didn't explain to them why I have become the way I have because I didn't want to influence them to do the same thing. Though I have taught them to watch and pray about a matter and when I listen to them, it seems they have a healthy outlook on life and the way people can be. This is good. I was not raised the same way, so I, in Christ, had to get there. The road was a hard way to go trying not to fall back into old habits. For instance, I had a friendship that I believed was a strong one. She and I talked about everything practically. We were both married with children and the need to have some kind of outlet to converse with another adult also in Christ and going through the same things. Once I believed we were both on the same page, we shopped together and went to church functions together. Then arriving at a wedding reception, she said the oddest thing to me as we walked toward the luncheon that was being served out doors. She said, "alright Lenora, don't cramp my style." This was about 18 years ago and I still have the same reaction now as I did then, "huh?" What style was she referring to? We were both married. We both have children. We are both Christian. We are both attending this function to show the bride and groom support....or at least, that's what I was doing. At the reception, she went her way and I had to find something to do. Had I known I was going to be alone, I would not have gone. Later, I found that many of the things I had discussed with her, had become common knowledge with other people in the church. We didn't talk much after that function. I suppose I cramped her style (Proverbs 16:28 AMP).

What does this have to do with dating? Really? You can't see this as clear as the nose on your face? Friendship comes after the initial interview. Its the reason as to whether to continue the dating process. If there is even the smallest indication of desperation in getting married for whatever the reason, you need to excuse yourself from the process. Just as there is a myriad of reasons someone decides to be a friend aside from agreement, there are just as many as to why a person would want to marry. Here are a few:
- health
- taxes (money)
- to have children
- promotion
- sexual tension
- status
- perversion
- jealousy
- control
- security
- age
If there are any others, I am not aware of them. These listed have sub headings as well and this is from those who fashioned themselves to be friendly.

It is a wonderful feeling having a friend (Proverbs 18:24 AMP). The support needed and to reciprocate that support builds strength in the relationship to know that if there is ever a time when there is a need or when needed you will be there for each other (Job 2:11 AMP). It is the reason the thirty year relationships can smile at each other even if there was some sort of initial struggle along the way. What you can't see the friend will and has your back when an enemy is at prey. So when does a friendship go South (Psalm 55:20-23 AMP)? When the love is no longer there. When thoughts of hatred, jealousy, envy, and the like have been fed. If the Word tells us that to hate is to murder, why then would anyone want their enemies closer if this is what a friendship can turn into?

I write this entry to the blog so that you will see that marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. If it is a huge turning point to those out in the world and they have no idea who Christ is, how much more so is it for you making your BFF Jesus? It makes no sense if you cannot recognize Christ in the other person's life why entertain the idea of this person being your friend much less a spouse? Without Christ, there is no love, no caring, no sharing, no thoughtfulness, no beauty, no considerateness, no help, no blessing, life! Seriously, people...come on already!

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