Friendship: Deposits and Withdrawals

friendship

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.

-Elbert Hubbard

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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Ever been Out of Control? (it’s OK)

Sometimes it’s a good thing.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand

Proverbs 19:21

outofcontrol

Out of Control. “No longer possible to manage”

Uncontrollable. “Wild, Unruly, Defiant”

These concepts have so many bad understandings. If someone is out of control in business or uncontrollable in regards to their recreation it is definitely not a good situation.

Control is an interesting term. It can mean being totally in charge. It can mean having sway behind the scenes. Control usually has a connotation of being direct, as in mastery or dominance. Influence can be somewhat like control, but generally the understanding is different. Leadership is in the same genre of words, but is not so unyielding.

So does that mean that being “Out of Control” is always bad?

No.

I had the chance to spend this past week with TeenPact Leadership Schools staffing the Kentucky state class. There were a number of things that were out of my control. While it first seemed that I needed to work my way back into a position of being in control I came to realize that my God IS in control and that His plans are much higher than my plans.

I have a number of stories that I’d love to share about how things were out of my direct control this past week, I’d like to tell you personally instead of on the blog though. So come ask! But what I will say is I realized it wasn’t my place to decide how the spiritual ministry was going to go. It also became apparent that even when the unexpected happens, things can turn out better than I thought possible. New relationships can form and be strengthened so quickly.

God was in control.

One of the phenomenal young men that I had a chance to staff with this past week was Austin Clapper. He and I were talking on Thursday night about how God gives us words to say. Austin said that while he doesn’t always think that he has the most eloquent conversation (I can relate, growing up on the farm) he knows that God provides those opportunities that we are most suited to fulfill. He lived Ephesians 2:20 this week, seeking out those good works that God had prepared in advance for him to do. Austin became a great friend of mine this week because neither of us were in control of the program.2014-04-04 17.42.45

This doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel at multiple times that I would rather have been in control.

  • I wanted to be in control of appliances that didn’t work correctly.
  • I wanted to be in control of the health of all our team members.
  • I wanted to be in control of what I gained from the week.
  • I wanted to be in control of the opportunities that I was given.

But looking back, I realize that while not everything went perfectly, not everyone stayed 100% healthy, not all my questions were answered, and most importantly I did not expect the opportunities that I was given…. that God’s plan was far, far better.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Ephesians 3:20-21

My question for you is this:

Are you holding onto control when God could do better?

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A Listening Ear

This Christmas Season you will have multiple opportunities, if you haven’t already, to listen to others. This is a fundamental way of being a good conversationalist: letting the other person talk.

The more they talk, the more they like- You! Because all the other bodies are busy talking about Themselves!

-Chris Brady

In the spirit of listening I won’t drag this post on and on. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned about listening.

If you’d like to dig deeper on Listening, artofmanliness.com has a great three part series on listening. Here are the links to the series:

Part 1: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/02/how-to-listen-effectively/

Part 2: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/08/listen-up-part-ii-15-techniques-to-improve-our-listening/

Part 3: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/05/08/listen-up-part-ii-15-techniques-to-improve-our-listening/

Merry Christmas everyone!

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