Friendship is a word in our culture that has lost much of its meaning. Now, this is not a post ranting about how “Back in my day, when you unfriended someone they had a black eye.” No, I believe that while friendship has deteriorated because of less quality interaction, it is a topic that we can do something about! So let’s dive in.
What is Friendship?
A Friend is defined on Dictionary.com as “a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty.” Does that describe the people that you interact with regularly? If it is, awesome let’s learn how to keep it that way. If not, perhaps we need to examine a few true friends from history and draw an analogy.
A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.
In many stories from history, a friendship plays a large role. You can check out a great in-depth article on Male Friendships on this site: artofmanliness.com/malefriendship
The Bible has something to say on every subject and true friendship is no different. One of the most iconic friendships of all time was the relationship between David and Jonathan.
A good summation of their relationship can be found in 1 Samuel 18:1
Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
You can read a full account of their adventures in 1 Samuel chapters 18-20
Another friendship that is less well known is the relationship between George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary war. Washington, a man of 45 developed a tight relationship with Lafeyette who, at 19, came to america to fight for freedom. They met soon after Lafeyette arrived and immediately bonded. They ignored their age difference because they were united towards a goal of freedom. After the Revolutionary war, they kept in contact as Lafayette returned to France to become involved in the French Revolution as the Commander of the French National Guard. His first act as Commander was to raze the Bastille. He took the key to the west portal, a key that held over 5,000 prisoners captive during French Monarchy and sent it to his friend, George Washington. That key still hangs in Washington’s historic home, Mount Vernon, to this day.
So what is the difference between that one person that sits on your friends list on facebook that you kind of know and the unshakeable bonds that held together great leaders of history like Washington & Lafeyette?
In each of the two examples we looked at there were a few principles.
- Common Purpose
- Continuing Communication
- Shared Experience
These each could be talked about at length, but suffice it to say that without some form of commonality, a certain amount of communication, and some interaction together a friendship does not happen.
So what’s the difference? Why do so many people feel alone in the crowd, or isolated among others. One analogy that I have heard from Life Leadership leader George Guzzardo is to visualize each relationship that you have as a bank account. With common purpose, different forms of communication, and experiences that people share- they create deposits into each other’s bank accounts. Each period of time that one or all of these are missing create withdrawals in those accounts.
As a spin-off to this analogy, I would like to challenge you to think about the quality of deposits you are putting into other’s accounts. Remember, as you deposit into other’s accounts, you are creating greater potential for others to fill yours as well. There is a big difference between liking the same page on facebook and going camping together. Think of either laughing so hard you can’t breathe with friends or texting someone “LOL” or going way overboard and texting “ROTFL” You see the difference? One is real money in the account the other is Monopoly money.
So my question for you is this.
Whose account is filled with Monopoly money that you need to go fill with real deposits?
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