Making friendship a competition

A friend loves at all times... Proverbs 17:17

In a person’s life, they usually have several friendships, and a lifelong friend is a rare treasure.

Friendship is something that we discover throughout life and that concept changes over time.   Through Grade School, Middle School (Jr. High), and High School,  your friends are/were,  due to proximity and were, more than likely,  the key to success or your biggest detriment and could lead to social suicide (or so you thought). However, you usually do not talk to any of those people after graduation, until your class reunions, and hopefully, by that time you are all older, wiser, and relate differently than you did “in the old days.”  As adults, friendships become more about quality and not quantity (except on social media sites).  And that quality includes an effort and investment on the part both parties involved.

But what does friendship really mean? Why is it important to have friendships?

Friendships can be different, at different times at life, but we were definitely created to have them.  When you think about it, Jesus and His ministry was centered around people. When Christ talks about His Church, He is talking about people.

In today’s world, the word friend has become a word that is thrown around and has lost some of it’s worth, like the word love.  I can love pizza and I can love a person…. they could be the same type love, but probably not.  I can be a “friend” with someone on social media, I can be a “friend” with someone I just met and talked to once, I can be a “friend” with someone who I never talk to and have not see in years, or I can have a true relationship with a “friend” who knows me and we have an investment in each other’s life. Each of these types of “friendships” have different connotations when you get down to what is really meant when we call that person a friend.

Friendships, in their truest form are deep, personal relationships that grow over time.  That does not mean that someone you know longer is a closer friend.  That is not what I am saying at all.  Some of my closest friends have known a short amount of time, but we both have invested something in our relationship.

A passage that I have come to love over the past year is one that can apply to friendships, as well as any other relationship.  But when I think of those that I hold near and dear to my heart, this is a verse that I want to live out in that relationship.

Romans 12:9-13 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

I really like this version of this verse from the English Standard Version of Scripture.  This verse makes showing honor to one another a competition, and if you are a competitive person, this increases the need to follow through on this.  We should strive to show honor to those in our lives.( And what is honor?  And how do you show it? …I think that may be my next blog post!) This should apply to all mankind, but I would think this should especially apply to those that are constants in our lives.

To those that I call friends, I will choose to honor you each and every day. It is my hope that if everyone would pick up on this challenge, how amazing would it be to see people trying to outdo each other by showing honor to one another, rather than putting each other down to build ourselves up.

Evaluate your “friendships” and figure out who you have that are your truest, deepest friendships.   As you go throughout your day, love those around you with brotherly love.  When you are talking about each other, outdo one another in showing honor through our words and our actions.

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