The price of friendship is the total surrender of yourself; no lesser kindness, no ordinary attentions and offerings will buy it. Henry David Thoreau
When my daughter was in 1st grade, she would come home and declare she had a new best friend about once a month. I would ask for the details and she would report, “I met her today and now we are best friends.”
If only it were that easy.
At some point between the playground and adulthood, we decide that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. We start building walls with perceived perfection on the outside and a mess on the inside.
Social media feeds the beast. We collect friends and follows like rocks in a preschooler’s pocket. They take up a lot of space but are low in value. The new medium of exchange in friendship is thumbs, stars, and hearts.
Friendship requires sacrifice–a sacrifice of time, heart, and humility. Those 3 things are precious gems, rare and valuable. They are the price of friendship.
It takes time to make friends. Unlike Sarah Kate’s BFF de jour, we must spend time with another to move from acquaintances to true friends. Between work, school, and home life, time for friendship seems elusive. It is essential, however, that we make time for relationships.
Consider scheduling time for coffee, writing a letter, or (gasp!) use the phone to actually talk to a friend. Short texts and messages do well to maintain a friendship but offer little in the way of cultivating deep connections.
One of the greatest friendships in history is that of David and Jonathan.
The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:1
Despite the complications of Jonathan’s daddy trying to kill David and the fact that David would take the throne instead of Jonathan, these two spent their adult life watching out for one another. Both had their reasons for fear and resentment, yet they chose to be friends instead of foes.
True, intimate friendship happens with the knitting of two souls. This requires making our hearts available for connections. If we try to protect ourselves from hurt or rejection, we will remain unavailable for closeness. Chances are, we will experience hurt along the way, but the blessing of true friendship is worth momentary discomfort.
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly. Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
King Solomon had it right: It takes a friend to make a friend. Vulnerability breeds intimacy. When we begin to remove the bricks in our wall, we invite others into our mess. We give them the gift of going second. The courage and humility it takes to truly be ourselves provides a safe place for a soul sister to be herself.
All of us need at least one person with whom we can be open and honest; all of us need at least one person who offers us the shelter of support and encouragement and, yes, even hard truths and confrontation. Charles Swindoll¹
While the price for friendship is high, it is worth the time, heart, and humility. What price are you willing to pay for friendship?
“Online life is no substitute for practiced, physical presence, and it will never replace someone looking you in the eye, padding around your kitchen in bare feet, making you take a blind taste test on various olives, walking in your front door without asking.” Jen Hatmaker, For the Love
“Pursue community wholeheartedly because the richness it brings to life is irreplaceable.” Jessica Turner, The Fringe Hours
¹Swindoll, Charles. David: A Man of Passion and Destiny. Word Publishing, Inc. Dallas, TX. 1997. p251
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