I realize some of us don’t HAVE any friends,
let alone a best friend.
But it’s actually better to face this unfortunate fact
than to think we have lots of friends–
only to find out they’re not real.
There is nothing worse than watching the people in our life disappear
when we lose our job, our partner, our health, our mind.
James Taylor sings about being friendless in his beautiful classic
Fire and Rain.
I hope you find it comforting.
Yes, he sings about loss. But he reminds us how important real friends are.
I hope you will explore friendship with me today.
What it means to be a true friend.
Are you with me?
Let’s DO this!
Loner no more
Went to my high school reunion on Saturday.
Eighty four of us showed, including my four besties.
Pretty scary to see there were more people on the Memorial List
than in the room.
But those of us who came were blessed with a beautiful evening.
Just sitting around talking, laughing, remembering our favorite teachers…
God I love reunions.
They remind me that I managed to change.
I was a total loner back then.
But now I am part of the life of the party.
Best moment was when I was standing there with two of my pals.
I told them about the time our gym teacher back then
had called me into her office, sat me down, and gently said to me:
“Debby, one day you are going to need friends.”
I stood there with my two buddies, looked up to heaven, and said:
“Look Mrs. Dennison…I did it…I have friends.”
So, what is a friend?
These days we friend this and we friend that,
and we like to brag about how many Facebook friends we have.
But I am not sure this is telling us much about real friendship.
So I put together a little quiz that I hope will shine a little light
on what a true friend is.
I call it The Friendship Quiz.
With it, you can evaluate the friendship of people you know.
There are ten points possible on the quiz.
Give one point if the statements are true of the person you are evaluating.
There aren’t any grades for the results.
You will understand what they mean.
The Friendship Quiz
Name of person being evaluated:
1. Is honest. Never lies to me.
Tells me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it.
2. Is always there for me. Stands by me through thick and thin, for years.
3. Is reliable. Keeps their commitments, does what they say they will do.
4. Stands up for me if I am unjustly treated.
5. Is kind and caring. Comforts me gently in loss, pain, illness, defeat.
6. Seeks to understand me, including the ways I am unique and different.
7. Values who I am. Finds the best in me and cares about my dreams.
8. Forgives me my weaknesses and failings when I screw up.
Doesn’t make it worse.
9. Praises my efforts and accomplishments. Celebrates my victories.
10. Is not a member of the outrage culture.
(If they tear others down, online
or in person, it is only a matter of time before they will tear ME down.)
First, see how you would evaluate your friends.
Then see about your girlfriend/boyfriend, mother, father, sisters, brothers,
grandpa, grandma, teacher, therapist, preacher, God…everyone close to you.
And don’t forget your dog or cat!
See who your best friend really is, at this point in your life.
OOPS– we forgot someone!
Did you notice there is somebody missing on our list?
We often forget this person entirely when we think about our friends.
Hmmm… who could that be?
The person missing is ourselves.
We are actually the person we most need to evaluate.
We need to ask:
How good a friend are we to ourselves?
So, see how we score on The Friendship Quiz!
The big picture
Adding it all up…
If we have scored anyone (other than God)
as a better friend to us than we are to ourselves
we’ve got things backwards.
Our best friend needs to be US.
Every aspect of our life will go better when we become our own best friend.
If that’s not how things are right now,
we will need to spend some time developing ourselves.
Spend some time learning to be our own best friend.
Yes, it’s a tough job –but SOMEBODY’S got to do it!
So let’s set a high goal for ourselves.
Let’s see if, one at a time, we can make ALL the statements true of us.
I’m with you.
We can DO this.
Take it from me—changing ourselves may be hard,
but it’s a whole lot easier than changing other people.
So, which of your evaluations surprised you the most?
I hope you will write and tell me!