Age is another ship sinker that is all too common. Especially once we graduate high school and enter adulthood, heading our separate ways, people naturally drift apart. A lot of friendships you have now will be gone five years from now. Take stock of which friendships you consider most important. If you want those to last you have to be intentional about staying in contact. The best thing you can do right now is to make an effort to take those relationships deeper. The more superficial the relationships, the quicker it will dissolve, but the friends you’ve gone through life with are far more likely to endure the test of time.
SHIP SINKER #7: IMPROPER OPERATION
Most things in life are designed with a specific use. If you use it in a way it was not created for then it won’t work very long. Imagine using your phone as a hammer. Some of you just got anxiety because you know it wouldn’t work very long being used that way. You’re imagining the cracked screen and the panic when it suddenly won’t turn on. In the same way, our relationships have a design and when used improperly, they sink.
I had a friend once who would message me to hang out a couple times a month. Except that the invitation almost always started with, “Could you help me with…” Of course, I love helping and I was happy to do it. However, after a while, it started to feel like if I wasn’t able to help this dude out, the invitations to hang out would disappear. I felt used. I don’t think that was his intention, but I felt like the relationship only continued because of what I could offer him. I just wanted to be accepted for me.
An improper use of friendship occurs whenever someone is taking advantage of the other or perhaps has a wrong expectation of the other. Sometimes one person expects more of the other than they are willing to give. Friendships should be mutually beneficial and without condition. Some warning signs would be if you’re always giving and not getting anything in return. Or vice versa, if you’re always asking for something, but never giving. Certainly avoid any situation if the phrase, “You’re my friend as long as you…
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Which of your friends add the most value to your life? How can you take them beyond the superficial?
- Are any of your friendships out of balance? Do you give more than you take or take more than you give?
- Do you have any conditions on the people you are friends with?
PRAY: Lord, show me which of my friendships I should take deeper. Help me to be a good friend and help me to develop healthy friendships with others.
Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG) So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
James 4:1-12 (NLT) What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. 6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?