Passionately Speaking – This is my 2nd article on “How to Value True Friendship and Real Talk: I’ve come to realize that what you put into friendship is what you should expect out of it. Genuine friendship is very rare and some of us really seem to take friendship for granted or not fully understand its commitment. If we could focus on five important elements: Loyalty, Honesty, Trust, Patience and Love, I think we can then recognize if we’re exercising these qualities concerning our friendship with others.
What kind of Friend are you? A Loyal friend who doesn't take your friendships for granted and makes yourself readily available to help in times of distress or personal struggles or..............are you a Fair-weathered friend who sticks around only when the friendship benefits you and when things get tough, you get going!
Let me share how five key elements can help you avoid the pitfalls of people who claim friendship but whose motives for being your friend are none other than self-serving.
Loyalty - True friends share their deepest fears, their greatest hopes and can usually talk about anything to one another without feeling intimidated. They don't gossip or slander the other's name when there is a disagreement amongst them and they do remain in touch if distance somehow separates them.
Honesty – True friends honestly communicate with one another in love. Some Examples: 1) Can you honestly tell your friend that he or she is acting in a proud or selfish manner without being angry or resentful towards them? 2) Can you say to them: “You really should think about purchasing that new car when you know you are struggling financially”, without being jealous because you wish you were the one getting a new car? True Friendship is being honest with a humble spirit. Have you checked your heart today?
Trust - True friends wholeheartedly trust one another believing that they can mutually count on each other, no matter what. True friends trust that when disagreements, arguments, dishonesty or unpleasant situations arise, they can withstand the difficulties without judging one another.
Patience - When you take on the role of a friend, recognize that there will be times when your friendship is put to the test like those mentioned in #3 and patience is what’s needed to: 1) Help you be more understanding; 2) Allow you to see things clearer; and 3) Keep you from hastily making a decision that you might later regret concerning your friendship. Remember the power of words and how deep they can cut when communicated thoughtlessly.
Love - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a great scripture in understanding how God feels about us loving one another with no conditions.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Cherish your loyal friends and pray for those whom you suspect want your friendship for motives other then the five elements mentioned above.