True Friendships

So I normally like to start my blogs with a question, well at least sometimes I do.
So here is today's one:

Do your friends add value to your life or do they drain you of all your energy, self worth, and most of all peace of mind?

Yesterday as I was getting ready for work, 1) I realised that I hadn't written a blog in such a long time, but 2) I actually had a real sense of appreciation for the genuine friends that I do have.

You see the thing is this; How does one really define having 'real and genuine' friends especially if everyone per say places this title on you, but to others you are just an associate?

For me growing up, I didn't have a huge amount of friends, why? Because I just didn't and in some ways I am truly grateful. Yes, I admit, there has been times when I have admire people with stories of having friends for years and growing up with them since primary school (elementary school) and so forth. But the ones I am happy to call friends are the ones who have endured a lot with me in which I value much.

I really don't believe 100% on the theory that you can only have 'real friends' if you have been around them for many of years. Even though I do have some like that, but the reason I say this is because I am pleased to say that I do have a few lovely friends that I only met since 2010 so that's about 3 years now that I actually see as my close friends and sisters in the Lord, especially aboard, so technically we are not around each other all the time.

So on that note, here is some more questions for you: What means a lot to you in a friendship, Do you feel you need to define each relationship before you can answer the above questions? and lets look at my original question: Do your friends add value to your life or do they drain you of all your energy, self worth, and most of all peace of mind?

Lets take a look at some of the type of friends that some people have encountered or is still amongst today:

1) The Bad Company Friends - There are people who have friends that point blank add to leading them astray, bad influence and just not good to be around, but because they have known them for so long, they tend to hold unto that and say this is my 'homie, my bro, my sis' etc. Even though this 'homie' has helped to stripped them of their true identity and worth, but they just can't see it.

2) The Drainer Friends - These are the 
individuals who value their friends in the wrong way as of just being a dumbing ground for all their problems and stress, their friends become 'A listener', they take advantage of this quality and pour out their problems on their friends and don't even ask the simple question to the hearer 'How are you doing?', this then becomes draining, the friend that listens feels exhausted after every conversation with this particular 'so call friend'. The frustrating part is that they seem to want advice, but end up doing what they want, falling backwards than improving and moving forward, which only leads to more complaining.

3) The Sometime-ish Friends - These 
individuals don't 100% know when they are coming or going. One day they want to be your best buddy, the other time they don't want to know. They take all the information about you and dish it to others, but run back and (maybe) apologise if they have any respect for you at all. (Not needed)

4) The Jealous Friends - These individuals, are close to you, they hang around you, listen to all that you have to say, but are never the ones to say congratulations. Even if they do, its half hearted, because they envy your progression.

They don't see your progression and accomplishments as inspiration, but as a threat, therefore at some points in life they might distance themselves away from you.

5) The All together Lovely Friends - These 
individuals are your supporters and encourager's. They feel at ease to correct you out of love and also RESPECT you and your feelings. These friends I call keepers. You can leave any conversation you have with them feeling better than you did when you first approached them with any topic that arouse.
You also ask them about their life and show your support as much as they do for you.

I am pretty sure there are other definitions that you can all personally add to the five listed above. But take a look at how Wikipedia defines the word 'friendship'

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. 
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of friendship. Such characteristics include affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgement from the friend.
I do like how they defined what friendship is especially the part where it says ....and make mistakes without fear of judgement from the friends (because at some points we all do - noone is 100%). It enables you to take some extra pointers to becoming a better friend than you are now, doesn't it?

For me true friendships means a lot and I personally don't take this title likely. My friends that I have know that I value them and appreciate them and I would advice that you should do the same.
Showing true support when your friends are down and out is saying, I will help and go through whatever it is that your facing. Because at the end of the day if they are your true friends, they will do the same for you.

I feel too many people are so consumed by the numbers of approval and friends that they have, that they can't even tell the ones that are draining them of everything, talking behind their back or even truly caring for them.

I think its about time we stepped aside from all the clutter of 'fake' friends and really aim on developing the relationships we do have now, believing that if there is more friends to come your way down the years of your life, that you only pray that they are 'REAL'.

I remember praying to God that I want Him to send me 'REAL' and 'GENUINE' people my way, no falseness or deceivers and I still pray those type of prayers today, as I think in life it is vital as to who you let into your life.

Don't get me wrong, your not to go around judging and assuming that everyone that comes your way has evil intentions, but I truly believe after time you will see people's true colours even when you may least expect it.
Yes, I know no one is perfect and there are times when even in friendships there can be misunderstanding and up and downs. But its how you deal with these times is what is very important and what counts. Do you all walk away, realising that your time is now up with that particular friend/s or Do you take a break, come back and work it all out?
For me personally I am a witness to this and have taken both ways as a solution, but at the end of it all the final question is: Do you have PEACE about the decision you have made?
God always advised us to 'Follow peace with all mean' (Hebrews 12:14), so no matter what, I believe if you walk away from a friendship there truly shouldn't be no hard feelings, just learn to forgive and move on in PEACE.

Overall, one can say 'I'd rather be alone and not have all the hassle of some of the above'. But in my opinion this is a wrong mindset to have. God never created us to be alone, or to go through things we face in life by ourselves that at the end of it all our burdens are so heavy, that we breakdown due to lack of support.

I truly believe everything has its timing. Even if you don't have the friends now, pray and believe they will come, and if you do have some that you are unsure about, pray and the wrong ones will depart.

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) says: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!....

A Special Thank You to my Genuine friends:
To all my genuine friends both far and near, you all know who you are. Truly I appreciate you and admirer the individuals you all are constantly becoming day by day. 
You have supported me when the goings has got tough and you were always there to listen even when you didn't have too.

Thank you for allowing my heavy buderns of life to be lighter through the wisdom and knowledge of God and for taking the time out for me. Know that when you have done so it has always meant a lot. 

Thank you for forgiving my wrong doings and understanding my short comings and even though some people state, you have to know someone for a certain amount of time to call them friends, we have proved them wrong!

We have been able to lean, learn, cry, be embrassed and depend on & around each other in different ways and this is what makes us strong.

The days, months and years that we all share are truly precious and I pray that I can remain being a great friend to you all not only now, but always.

Ladies, cherish you friends, both old and new and allow God to help you to become the best supporter you can ever be for your friends now and those to come. There is no need to hate on each other, but there is much need to spread the LOVE.

God is Love and He loves you ever so DEARLY!

Keep Being beautiful.

By: Faith Dore

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