2/6 Do you possess these three qualities (of what makes up a good friend) yourself?
Well this is an awkward post to write. Sorry guys. I guess it may be an awkward question to answer for you today too. But I love awkwardness because in its shadow often comes buried truths that are too slimy to talk about on a regular basis. So, if you know me at all- I usually blow right past the awkwardness of conversation and demand answers anyway. With a smile.
My answers of what makes a great friend are: humility, humor and honesty. And to be perfectly candid- I possess these qualities in some ways and yet am desperately lacking them in other corners of my being. I think that's why I value these three so profoundly in friends. I want humble, humorous, honest friends because I want to be better in each specific area. And everyone knows that the people we surround ourselves with will eventually be the examples we embody in our own life (Sideline invitation to evaluate your current friends and see if you're getting this right.)
There are certain ways I check myself and practice these qualities in my life. Hopefully the practicality can help in stepping more permanently into the friends we want to become.
To become more humble IS HARD. So first, I admit there is no way I can 'become humble' today by trying harder or putting myself down. To become more humble is really a conscious shift of people-over-self. I do this through prayer and I do this by going to a place with a lot of strangers, looking at each one and imagining how much they matter to God. Despite how different they may be, despite their demeanor or level of politeness: they matter as much to God as I ever have. He is crazy about them so I should be crazy about them too. If I can develop a deep love for people I don't know I find it can translate greatly into loving the people I do know.
To become more humorous is hilarious in itself. How would anyone begin to do this? But I have found in my life I become funnier and appreciate the funny in others when my life feels light. Airy. A little unpredictable even. So humor enters in beautifully when I let go of lists and expectations for the day. When I live in the lightness of the spirit of God I notice the funny/ironic gems of life. Nothing can kill humor faster in my day than mourning over a day of false expectations.
To become more honest, I practice confession. I allow God to take a look into my soul and point out the blind spots of sin and stink that have been festering for a little too long. I find that when I am honest with myself- and give Jesus the space to be honest with me as well- I become much more honest with people. And not just word-vomit honest. Honest in the way Jesus is honest- gracefully and truthfully. Confession can have a negative connotation for some of us because we haven't experienced confession in a full-circle, grace-filled way. If you're not leaving time of confession reminded anew of God's undying love and care for you- the confession practice is incomplete.
This question is a HUGE example of how we can get our part right. TODAY. Taking honest assessments of the friend we are to others will grow us almost overnight.
I once heard that in relationships it's time to put away the microscope and pick up the mirror. Looking in the mirror may just be the best thing we can do for our friends.
Join in today! How are you doing as a friend? Report below or around your dinner table tonight.