Adjustments#2. “Friendship—Seven lessons I have learned so far.”

Adjustments#2. “Friendship—Seven lessons I have learned so far.”

Elvis had two unique abilities. Firstly, (and obviously) his outstanding voice, and secondly, his instant likability. He gave off the vibe that if you met him, you would undoubtedly be one of his closest life-long friends. Of course, those high gates at Graceland were not put there to keep millions of life-long friends in.Having just completed six decades on earth, I have been caused to reflect on how blessed I am to have friendships that have stood the test of time. These are but a few thoughts:

Lesson 1. Just because friendship is made up of many layers, does not make it complicated. Humans long for society and they build relationships with those with whom they have mutual affection. Now, a godly-wise person seeks society with the like-minded.

Lesson 2. If love is the engine that drives friendship, then patience is the grease that eases its progress. All those boring stories, dumb jokes, and irrational rants, if not taken in stride, will bring things to a standstill.

Lesson 3. Change changes things. It may not be so much that someone has changed, but that someone has finally shown their true colours. Friendships do not always start and end as one imagines. Time and circumstance can make enemies into friends and friends into enemies. That I have experienced.

Lesson 4. There are people who once were, but are no longer, and probably will not again be, friends of mine. Whether the outcomes were one-sided or mutual, they are truly heart-breaking all the same. I live in hope for better days.

Lesson 5. Without mercy, friendships go nowhere. Forgiveness is key. Things will be said and done that bring resentment and mistrust. Third parties can introduce problems. You must ever seek God’s wisdom to restore trust and move on.

Lesson 6. Friends know you. Your values are their values. Your cares, their cares. Your initial likability will be superseded by the deeper virtues of love and respect. If they know God, then you will walk toward him together. If they don’t, then you are the guide—man up for the journey. Keep them close.

Lesson 7. Jesus opened his heart of friendship to all. He has called his church to the ministry of friendship. The good news is that the church that makes friends for Jesus is the church that grows. Thank you for being a friend.

John Staiger

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