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Are you a friend or a trader? This is a personal question that I ask that we all may evaluate how we operate in relationship with the people we call friends. I ask are you a trader because what has been revealed to me as of late about friendship is the understanding that friendship is not based on reciprocity. It is not based on you do for me and I’ll do for you. Let’s say you are there for a friend in a time of need and then in your time of need they are nowhere to be found. Is that person your friend? My answer to this question just a few weeks ago would have been no. How could they be my friend and they didn’t even show up when I needed them to. What I understood about friendship says that when a friend needs you, you show up period. But I want to share what I’ve learned that was contrary to my information and understanding. Here is what I now understand, true friendship is not based on or in reciprocity… here’s another revelation…Friendship also means there will be times where I’ll be a better friend to you than you were/are to me. (I know these are two tough pills to swallow)
I have learned that in a lot of instances we have behaved more like traders (where exchange is the basis) than friends. You see, when I have an expectation of receiving something because I have done something for you. I have taken on the attitude of a trader. This trading involves gestures of friendship and the attitude is I will do for you what you do for me. This is not friendship it’s a trade. I will be there for you since you were there for me. But should a time arise when you don’t fulfill your side of the unspoken agreement. We are no longer friends and our friendship in its totality is called into question.
Here’s what I learned, Real friendship is a singular personal activity that involves another person or persons whom you care for and respect. Real friendship is deeper than a this for that arrangement or experience. True friendship will put the expectation of reciprocity to death.
Here’s the challenge… Never let the limitations of another person’s friendship affect your boundaries of friendship. Why? Here me clearly on this… We can only operate in our level of understanding and revelation we have at that moment in time. Please know that our level of understanding is the maximum potential of application. We can’t apply what we don’t know and we can’t effectively apply what we know until we understand it. No matter who it is they can only operate at the level of what that they know and understand.
Here’s what me must be willing to say to ourselves about ourselves as it relates to friendship. Who I am and how I function with this new understanding is deeper than what anyone does or does not do for me. You are my friend and my expression is in the core of who I am and I commit myself to never letting anyone alter or cause me to alter my friendship based on their actions or inaction.
I even have proof of this (John 15:13) When Jesus says this he certainly mean that it’s a great love for a man to lay down his life. In this context life is made up of heart, mind and soul. The issue of our heart we lay down for a friend, the thoughts that we have we lay them down for a friend and it is thru this, that a great agape love is expressed. This is the truest expression of friendship. Jesus was a better friend to the disciples than they were to him. Sometimes, it takes our true friend to leave for understand. Thank you Min. Catherine Williams for this revelation.
Motivation One Moment At A Time