…Just a Perfect Blendship

You know who knows a thing or two about friendship? Cole Porter.

“If they ever make cannibal stew of you, invite me too…” Is that the sort of friendship you dream of? Not quite? Eh, who cares…isn’t Joel Grey adorable?

When I was in high school, playing the role I’m sure Sutton Foster is incredible in (she is, after all, Sutton Foster…gah, who’s up for an NYC visit?!), I defined friendship as hanging out with people who had the same interests as me. The majority of my friendships were fairly surface-level and I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into who I included in my group of close friends. It wasn’t until later that I learned a few key (and often painful) lessons about relationship that caused me to make some big changes.

You become who you hang with. Show me your three closest friends and I’ll show you what your life will look like two years from now. If that idea excites you, you’ve probably chosen friends wisely. If it makes you yawn or – worse yet – terrified beyond all reason, it might be time for a change.

Sometimes it’s good to be choosy. Not just with peanut butter either. You don’t have to let someone into your inner circle just because they want to be there. You don’t have to keep them there just because they got in at some point.

Time is like money; invest it wisely. Your time is a precious commodity. You have a limited amount of it. Why invest it into people who suck the life out of you when you could be spending it with those who will build into you, encourage you, challenge you, and help you grow into the person God created you to be?

I won’t lie; writing about (and maybe even agreeing with) these guidelines is pretty easy. Walking them out is a different story. Sometimes invitations have to be politely (awkwardly? repeatedly?) declined. Sometimes a risk is required to step out and ask that person we admire to chat. And sometimes shifting someone out of the inner circle is necessary. I know it can be tough – I have experience with all of these scenarios and I expect to continue facing them throughout my lifetime. But guess what I’ve found as I prayerfully navigate the relational side of life. Once we begin to honestly covet relationship with the right people, God provides the right people. And when we stop investing in drainers and begin investing in fuelers, we are at peace. We are charged. We are challenged. We are growing. We are joyful. We experience reciprocity. We enjoy friendship the way God intended us to. So I’m willing to keep making the tough calls, having the difficult conversations, and wisely risking vulnerability because it’s worth it! So worth it.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. -Proverbs 27:17

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7 thoughts on “…Just a Perfect Blendship

  1. It’s so funny, we just had a diversity and inclusion conference at work where the speaker talked about intentional relationships! He had us look at our personal and professional networks and asked us how many of them look, act and think the way we do. Is there diversity in our friendships? Do we seek out people who may be different than us to further expand our view of the world and its diverse people? Some of my closest friends and family see the world very different from me and that’s ok; we know what we can discuss and which topics are off limits, but if I close myself off to their point of view, I’m closing myself off to a huge section of the world and I’m the one missing out. I find our discussions only deepen my own beliefs which is good, but there have been issues in my life on which I’ve taken a new stance simply because I saw the other side.
    I look at Congress and the complete bottleneck that happens when you only see your side of the coin. It’s my hope that our generation has more understanding of others so that we can finally be the ones to break down the divide and learn to compromise. Great (and timely) blog Amanda. And I do adore Joel Grey!!

    • Bonnie! 😉 So good to hear from you and hear about your experience with intentional friendships! You’re right, it’s easy to find people who are the same as us, who are at the same place in life. This year I’ve actively tried to build relationship with some people I feel are further along than me, wiser, more experienced. It’s been rather intimidating (after all, why would they want to hang out with me?!), but also terrifically rewarding. Kudos to you for your efforts. And hugs to you ’cause it’s been ages since I’ve been able to give you one in real life! 😉

  2. WHOAH mama! This is awesome, Amanda. Even I, who preach basically the same things, REALLY needed to read this this morning! I am slowly working toward being intentional about who I invest my time with. I have a tendency to want to be with everyone and help everyone. Then I am left with feeling drained because I haven’t invested in myself … or others have not invested in me. I HAVE had a lot more peace now that I am not just providing my time to anyone who asks. I think the repeated, polite declines to invites are the WORST!

    ps. I love the photo you included at the bottom. It was fun to recognize so many people in it! Is this a particular group of people (like a house church, choir group, etc.) or is it just a mix of a lot of great friends? or maybe both! Just curious. 🙂

    • I can totally relate to the dreaded polite decline. For a while after I began doing it, I actually felt guilty! But then, as you pointed out, I realized that not taking care of myself, allowing myself to become depleted or be drained, would result in me being no good to anybody. It was freeing to realize that I’m not the Holy Spirit…I can’t be there for everyone! I think it was Andy Stanley who preached a message on doing for one what you wish you could do for all. Good stuff!

      The picture is from Matt’s going away party, before he moved out west. Mostly it’s people from the music department at church. Can you believe it’s been three years?

  3. Pingback: The Enemy of Discontent and Dissatisfaction | girl in process

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