Three Friends

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
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