“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life
Happy Sunday! On my heart this morning is friendship. It is absolutely the balm of life. Our friends, are people that we CHOOSE to love. Our families are people that we are connected to not by our choice, but by chance. Loving family is always complicated. Yet, because they are family we endure. We love. We forgive. But our friendships are priceless treasures of worth too valuable to measure. Our friends, our true blue friends can be counted on one hand (usually minus a few fingers) and they are to be cherished above all else in life.
Part of the “Code” of living is who comes along your life’s journey with you. I believe it is critical to who we ultimately become. Who we choose to travel with in life matters. In order to have a good friend, you must prove yourself to BE a good friend. You are not going to get many true, loyal, ride or die friends in your life. I consider myself enormously blessed that I can say in each season of my life I have been blessed with really good, loving, LOYAL friends. Sure, I have had my share of impostors. We all have, but I have to OWN the fact that I did not pay attention, I let them into my life too soon, I did not study their life Code, or their treatment of other people. I did not wait 1 year before getting connected with some of these people in business, partnership or just plain ole friendship.
Knowing your Code–your needs, your wants, your character will help you attract the right people into your circle. Like really does attract like. That “opposite” thing, frankly is DANGEROUS. You don’t want to be connected to people who do not share your values, your dreams, or your Code. It will end in ruin. Two cannot walk together unless they agree. You need to check your circle and see who you have chosen to be in your most sacred space. Do not allow people into your life who destroy your peace, or your purpose. Life is too short for that.
Today’s message is simple: Know your circle. Know who your friends are and who they are not. Here is a quick checklist that will help you to determine who is really for you, and who is just passing by:
1. Do they support your success and wins in life. Not just with words, or a smile, but with genuine excitement and delight?
2. Are they there for you in your low moments, your valleys, your desert experiences, as you have been there for them?
3. Does this person add to your life. Make deposits or constantly make withdraws?
4. Does this person truly GET YOU, SEE YOU, LIKE YOU FOR YOU, or do you have to keep their rules to be in their presence, change your character, conform to their expectations?
5. Can you count on this person for real? Would they feed you if hungry. House you if naked. Care for you if sick. Grieve with you in mourning. Would they be there 100% just to listen. To hold you hand. Pray with you. Come and sit with you. Encourage you. Intervene for you. Get help for you.
These 5 simple questions will tell you a lot about who your friends are. And most important, are YOU giving what you expect of others in your life. Check you first. Life is too short and nobody needs fair weathered friends. Nobody. Get rid of the clutter in your life. The distractors and detractors. Not everybody close to you, is actually FOR you. Remember that. Check your circle.
Have a blessed day. Happy Superbowl Sunday. Go Broncos!