I lost a friend last month, not because they died or moved away, but because I could no longer support what I believed to be destructive behavior.
Does this make me a bad person? Not necessarily.
Does this make me a bad friend? Perhaps, but just like any relationship I’ve been in, I’m allowed to severe ties with someone who doesn’t bring out the best in me.
This past weekend at Woodcrest, our Senior Pastor Piet shared what he believes to be the 10 Commandments of Friendship. As I sat there listening to each commandment, I thought of myself and what I have to offer my friends, and also realized that I’m not perfect.
Take a look at his 10 Commandments of Friendship and see if have anything you need to work on yourself:
- Choose wisely. Sometimes you pick bad apples, before you pick good ones.
- Be friendly. You would think this is a given, but some people just don’t get it.
- Ask questions. Piet suggested keeping a list of questions in your back pocket, metaphorically speaking of course. Ask questions like:
- “What do you like to do for fun?”
- “Read any good books lately?”
- “Do you vaccinate your kids?” Don’t ask this one unless you want to get into a debate. 🙂
- Build on common interests. Obviously you’re not going to spend a lot of time with someone who enjoys listening to heavy death metal music if you don’t enjoy the same. Makes my ears hurt just typing that!
- Read nonverbals, and make sure you’re reading them correctly.
- Be present! Translation = TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES.
- Make eye contact, but don’t have a starring contest, because that’s just creepy.
- Do conflict. It’s ok to have the occasional disagreement with your friend. Afterall, no relationship is perfect.
- Extend grace. Forgive people, because you’ve been forgiven before too. Humans make mistakes.
- Let the relationship be mission-minded. Get something done that is important. Don’t just sit around and ask pointless questions just to have a conversation.
Anything missing? Let me know.