Friends I Don't Need
by Major Eva Kleman, Finland and Estonia Territory
After moving to another country and leaving my close friends behind, I realised the importance of my relationships. My friends and family are people who understand and love me. I feel relaxed with them and don't feel I have to explain all my actions. I need this kind of friendship.
Major Eva Kleman, Finland and Estonia Territory
Jesus needed friends. He had Peter, James and John, and enjoyed the company of the other disciples. When he needed rest, he went away to the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. At the crucifixion scene, Jesus' mother showed her devotion until he took his last breath. And even after Jesus' death, his friends continued to lovingly prepare his body for burial.
Jesus says, 'I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father'(John 15:15 NIV). My friendship with Jesus has taught me to trust and confide in him. My other relationships are built strong with their starting point in him.
We all live in relation to others. Some people desperately need to connect with others; still there are people who would rather not socialise. Psychological research has proven how important it is to have contact with others. A hug, a gentle touch or a positive voice have the potential to communicate with even unconscious patients. It shows how positively people react when they feel included, seen and noticed.
Friends should make you feel good about yourself and speak the truth in love. In my past, I have had supportive friends with whom I?love to spend my time. On the other hand, I have had friends who have caused more grief and challenge than harmony. You may have had a friend like this, too.
I have had relationships with people who were masters at using me. They would stick around until circumstances became difficult, and then they would leave me. I have had self-centred friends who demanded my attention and maintenance. I named these people my 'one-way friends'. And there were my 'ladder friends' who used me to learn information and then stepped on my head to move up the scale.
Let me tell you about my 'gossip friends' who consistently have shown insensitivity towards others. I should include my 'negative perspective friends' who only focus on problems. Yes, these so-called friends have appeared in my life and I can tell you from experience: I don't need them!
While a friend may need me, allowing myself to be her doormat is not being a good friend. A real friend does not exploit, gossip, or think most highly of herself. If you start to make an inventory of your friendships, what do you find? Do you have few friends, or many friends? You might have a friendship where there is more giving on your part than receiving. In reviewing my friendships, I need to ask myself, 'How can I build healthy relationships?' and 'How can I better behave as a good friend?' We need to mindfully select the people we allow to have influence over us and consider carefully the way we influence others.