What about your friends?

One of my fave groups back in the day was TLC. They had a song called What about your friends. Here are some of the lyrics:

What about your friends? will they stand their ground?
Will they let you down again?
What about your friends are they gonna be low down
Will they ever be around or will they turn their backs on you

Unusual phrases/questions to be associated with those you consider friends, right?

Not really.

At 31 years old I have friendships that have spanned as long as 20 years. And in those 20 years I have experienced every part of the verse to that song. I have been the victim as well as the perpetrator. And that’s life. If you have not had a friend (or even family for that matter) let you down-again, be low down, not be around, or turn their back on you; keep on living my friend. And if you haven’t let a friend down, weren’t around, or have been low down then I don’t believe you. And I will tell you why later.

The rest of us know that disappointments are a part of life, and unfortunately so are heartache and betrayal. And the pain we feel from such things is so profound because they come from the people we least expect it to- our friends.

We place our friends on such pedestals that we think they will never, could never, won’t ever— fill in the blank. And then, they prove us wrong. And we find ourselves saying things like I guess we were never really friends or what kind of friend would do this and I will never be friends with so and so again. We walk around saying we deserved better and wouldn’t ever do that to them and then we are calling that friend out their name or telling people to not even speak their name in our presence. In the blink of an eye our dearly beloved friend has become an enemy or they become “dead” to us. Because they did us so wrong. Because they messed up. Because WE are SO perfect.

Really?

No one is perfect. No one except God.

Yet, He considers us(believers) His friends. And how many of us have let God down? All of us.

How many of us have been low down, dirty even? All of us.

How many of us have turned our back on God (or something He told us to do?) Uh huh. Now it’s quiet.

Yet, God loves us. He keeps coming around. He keeps blessing us. He keeps calling. Our perfect God, who has NEVER done us wrong and whom we have wronged time and time again, still wants to be our friend.

While our imperfect selves have put Lisa on cut off because she talked about you in her FB status. And you stopped speaking to Mike because he didn’t show up to your bday party. Get over it and get over yourself.

Seriously.

I am not trying to excuse anything that someone has done to you. I know what it is like to be hurt by a friend and someone you love and it is awful You almost feel like everything you knew to be true is suddenly all a lie. It’s like your world is turned upside down.

But in spite of the curveball that was thrown at you, in spite of the incident (or two, three, five even) that had you questioning who this person is, remember the years that person was down for you, rode with you, and had your back. What they did may have been horrible and cut you to the core of your soul, but if you love them-forgive them. If you cannot, do not, or will not forgive them, then were YOU ever their friend? Did you ever love them?

The bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. {1 Peter 4:8} A multitude. That’s a lot.

Further, Jesus says that we ought to forgive our brother(or sister) up to 70×7- which equals 490 times. 490! Unless you have been wronged by the same person 490 times, you are supposed to find a way, somehow, to shake off the hurt and disappointment. Let go of the anger. Forgive. Reconcile. Still be friends. Proverbs 19:11 says “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” It is a person’s glory (state of great splendor and bliss) overlook an offense. So if you won’t do it for them, do it for you.

It may be hard. Things may be different. But they don’t have to be. You have a choice.

I used to be one of those types to cut someone off. You do something once or one too many times and I was done. Big thing or little thing, I’d stop talking to you in a second. Change my number. Block you. Unfriend you. Done! Then, I let a friend down. In letting them down, I let myself down. And this friend was hurt and angry. And they did something to hurt me. And now this friend and I who used to speak everyday for yearsssssss, have not spoken in months and may not ever. I have been cut off and cut out of their life as if I was never there. And that hurts. We were friends.

So now, I am learning how to be a better friend. Friends are not only those you can talk to about any and everything and understand you. They are those who will not judge you when you do something messed up, but will still tell you about yourself. They will cry with you or just be silent with you. They will stand by you and support you. They will pray with you and for you. They will love you even when you are wrong- in spite of you being wrong. That is the kind of friend I want. That is the kind of friend I want to be.

One of my favorite shows is Golden Girls and I love the theme song. It goes…

Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidante. And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew…you would see the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say “thank you for being a friend.”

I would like to believe that the road referred to is that road of disappointment and hurt. Arguments (large and small) and betrayal. I want to be able to travel down that road and back again after years of friendship with someone and then be able to say “you’re heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidante.”

Being a friend does not mean being perfect. You are still human and humans have flaws no matter the position they hold or title they are given. Friend. Best Friend. Girlfriend. Husband. Brother. Aunt. Cousin. Mom.

Disappointments will come. You will be hurt by those you least expect it from. Sad but true. But if you keep cutting people out of your life, you will be hurting yourself. Then what?

Let me clear something up though. Not everyone in your life right now, belongs there. Where you are going in life, some people are not meant to go with you. But know who those people are. Identify the ones who matter and those who do not. Then act accordingly.

“Thank you for being a friend.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s