What it means to be a friend

I have been thinking a lot about my friendships and the people I care about.  I’ve decided that I really need a heart check.  I tend to get really frustrated when people don’t react the way that I expect them to.  This is especially true when I feel like I’m doing my best to love them and show them that I care.  I sent a message to someone and then when they did not respond.  I went to send a second message and I discovered that this action is not allowed because they took themselves off my list of “so-called friends.”  I wonder what offense I caused, but I probably will never know.  This happened to me not once but twice!  I get frustrated when I spend so much time and energy caring and the other person or people never seem to give even the slightest hint that they care at all about me.  It can be that when you are talking to the “offenders” they never once asked “How are you?’ or “How are your kids?” and all they talk about is themselves.  Don’t they know that it’s rude just to talk about yourself all the time? You give them words of encouragement and all they give you is disappointment, a knot in your stomach, and a bad taste in your mouth.

This week I have been working on a short video for my church about friendship and I have decided that being a friend does not necessarily mean that you get anything in return.  I know for a fact that I am not the perfect friend, but I do try to be a good friend.  Caring about people comes with a price, and sometimes I do feel like I care too much about others.  Maybe it would be best to tell some people to “go flip sand,” to use the words of my grandmother, but I don’t think that is what God would want me to do, since the two greatest commands are to love God and love your neighbor.  I love what a friend of mine said, “The gift of compassion is sweet, but painful.”  This is so true!  I hope my friend, if you are reading this, that you will find that I have been a true friend to you and that you will truly be a friend to me.

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