Weekly Sabbath Survey
Three Friends — 8-17-13
There are three types of friends we make as we go along in life. Knowing what category any certain person falls into goes a long way to sustaining the friendship. It is also good to know that we have the control over which category a certain friend belongs in, knowing we have the capacity to move someone from one category to another, if it becomes necessary.
Some of us are so open-hearted we gather best friends like picking berries off the vine. Others have learned our innermost secrets are reserved for only a few, not for sharing with everyone on our Face Book list.
See below the three types of folks we may identify as and call by the name “friend.” ( I took the categories from a sermon I heard, and have elaborated with my own thoughts.)
1) Comrades. These are people who are against what you are against. You have a common enemy. It’s the old saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” These people are in your life usually, for a season. You see them infrequently and usually in public places. Your interests are pretty well confined to whatever or whoever the enemy is. This would be AA friends, your common enemy would be alcoholism. Maybe it’s the people in your divorce support group the enemy here is, of course, your former spouse who broke your heart and drained your bank accounts. In elections of the past few years, people worked in political campaigns as much to defeat the candidate they hated as much as to get their own candidate elected. Your connection to this type of person is most always short-lived.
2) Constituents. These people are for what you are for. They walk in agreement with you, but they are not for you. These are people you met at work, at a meeting of the African Violet Society, in a motor cycle club when you were in your mid-life crisis. It is also likely that most church friends fall into this category. The friendship is held together by the common interest, golf, tennis, Church Bake Sale. Because the association has a more positive tone than with comrades, there is a better chance of some of these people sticking around for a longer period of time. But in most cases, in time these friends (or you) usually move on.
3) Confidantes. These are people you may have met in some of the very places named above, but rather than just sharing common interests, this person is interested in YOU. Some of these BFFs will surely be people you met in high school or college. These are people who love you unconditionally, and you love them the same way. You know everything about each other and love each other anyway. They weep with you when you are in crisis, they rejoice with you in your victories. They will tell you when you are wrong, and they listen to you tell them when they are wrong. There is great forgiveness and tolerance for human frailty in both of you. They ‘get’ your jokes. They never make light of your concerns.They don’t tell your business all over town. They help you carry your burdens. There is a great trust in between the two people. These friendships survive arguments, long distances, and all the changes that each person goes through over a lifetime. They are people in your life who are closer than a brother. A lot of times these friendships go on for many, many years, even until the death of one of the two. If we are lucky, we may have three or four of these people in our entire lives.
You can always trust your dreams, your fears, and your hopes to your confidante, but not the others. Remembering who is what in your life at a given moment will help you maintain friendships in all three categories. You have control, deciding depth of confidential sharing and the time for when someone must be moved closer or further away, emotionally speaking.
Two Bible examples of this confidante friendship would be David and Jonathan and Naomi and Ruth.
And it came to pass that the heart of Jonathan was knitted to the heart of David. I Samuel 18:1. Ruth said, Do not try to make me leave you or stop me from following you. Where you go, I go, and nothing but death will part me from you. Ruth 1:17
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah