I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Importance of Friends

There are some people who avoid friendships. Maybe they’ve felt hurt or betrayed and don’t want to go through that hurt again. Others gather “friends” like so much confetti, but while they can boast about their many “friends,” most of these friends are scarcely more than acquaintances. Those who gather such friends feel the need to have attention or to feel superior to others. Real friends don’t fit either category.

I don’t know what we’d do without our friends. Yes, I have friends who I don’t know well and others I’ve known, it seems, forever. I have friends, like my brother and sister, who were not friends when we grew up. Like most siblings, we fought, we made up, got angry, let it go. Eventually, we accepted our differences and as we became adults, also became friends. We had each other’s back. Family makes very special friends because they know your background, share that history, and accept you anyway.

I have friends that hark back to my college days. These friends have stood the test of time. We’ve had disagreements, but we’ve learned to apologize and forgive. Both of which are critical to long-term friendships. We have friends we can call day or night and they will come. We have friends so close our kids sometimes thought they had two sets of parents because we spent so much time together and because we had no problem babysitting each other’s kids when necessary.

Over the years I discovered how much I need my friends. They encourage me. They confront me when needed—that takes a measure of courage, time, and trust. They support me and provide rides when needed, since I don’t drive.

But where do these long-term friendships come from? They develop when we let go new and old hurts, when we seek more than attention, more than a focus on “MY” needs. They develop when we reach out beyond ourselves to become the sort of friends we crave. To have friends, we have to start by being a friend. I am so glad that, over the years, I’ve taken the time and effort to build solid friendships.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” –1 Peter 4:8-10
(c) 2023 Carolyn R Scheidies
Published column Kearney Hub 5/22/2023

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