by Andrew Cromwell
It has been said that a good friend is someone who walks in when everyone is walking out. They are someone who not only sees through you, but is determined to see you through the tough spots in life.
Don’t we all want friends like that?
Shallow friendship is easy. It just doesn’t take much effort. Every time I walk into an elevator and say “hi”, I’ve made another shallow friend. We remark pleasantly about the weather, say things like “how long are you in town” or even, “where are you from?”. Shallow friends like your social media posts and might even make a comment or two, but that’s as far as things go.
No one needs instructions on how to make shallow friends. As a matter of fact, I have a few shallow friends that I’ll happily hand off to you if you’re interested!
Deep, meaningful friendships, on the other hand, are hard to come by. That’s because real friendships take time, energy, and effort. Most of us can think of a friendship that used to be close but is now cold and distant.
Why? Usually it is because the cost of maintaining the friendship was more than we were willing to pay.
That friend moved out of the area and we didn’t make the effort to call or keep calling. Or perhaps, one or both of us stopped doing the activity that gave us an excuse to spend time together, and we never took the time to find another reason to connect. There are so very many reasons why we drifted apart, but at the end of the day, we weren’t willing to pay the price to keep growing closer. And so we drifted apart.
Real friendship takes effort. It requires investment. You have to be willing to rearrange your schedule, go out of your way, push through inconvenience, and make relationship building a priority.
If you want powerful relationships, then you have to be willing to pay the price. King Solomon said if you want to have friends, you have to be friendly. That means you have to make time. You have to be willing to engage in a person’s life, care about what they care about, and show up when it matters. You have to decide to love people even when you see them at their worst instead of making your friendship conditional on their behavior or performance.
Do you want people to tell the the truth at your funeral, or do you want them to lie and tell a nice story? The way you invest in your relationships today, will decide the answer to that question.
Above all, we must remember that there is one person — Jesus Christ — who chose to love us unconditionally even though He knew everything about us. It is His love and acceptance that serves as the model for how we all do our friendships.