My friend and co-worker at TreeHouse LeAndra Williams has a great spin on friendship. So, LeAndra, take it away!
“After many years and different friendships I have come to a place in my life to recognize helpful and hurtful friends. I have had the privilege to experience both.”
Lee, what have you learned?
“The first step to recognize if you have helpful or hurtful friend is to see which category your friend fits in. Friends are usually in one of these categories. A friend is either an Adder, a Subtracter, a Multiplier, or a Divider.”
Let me explain:
Adders (+) are friends that add to your life. They add value to you and help you to grow.
Subtracter (-) are the opposite; they’re friends that take, take, take away from you. I call them “leeches.” They suck the life out of you without offering anything back in return.
Multipliers (x) are amazing friends that multiply your life. They help to increase your life as they push you to a higher level – a different dimension – in life while they offer resources and time for you to get there.
Dividers (÷) are “friends” that divide bring about discord, contention and separation between you and others. They drag drama along; they demand.
Is your friend Hurtful or Helpful? There are certain characteristics to look for.
• Are selfish
• They encourage negative behaviors
• You feel worst after you leave their presence
• They constantly put you down and point out your flaws
• You feel like you can’t be yourself around them
• They encourage you
• They hold you accountable
• They challenge you to do better
• They give of their time and resources to help you
• You know you have become a better person since you have been friends with them
Through all the friendships that I have had, good, bad and indifferent, I have come to the realization that Jesus Christ is the ultimate friend.
Jesus not only is a great friend to me, his examples of the way that he treated his friends helps me to become a better friend to others.
• Moved by compassion
• He was quick to forgive
• He held his friends accountable
• He helped them become better
He knew that one of his closest friends Peter would deny him. He knew that Judas would betray him, but he continued to love them, walk with them and teach them. Then he gave the ultimate sacrifice, his life; for them and for us.
John, another of Jesus’ closest friends quoted Jesus, who said, ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.‘ 1
He sacrificed for the friends that added to his life, the friends that subtracted and divided. Jesus Christ loved them enough to die for them. That’s true friendship.”
That’s sacrificial love.
That’s unconditional love.
That’s “love without strings.”
That’s what the world needs!
1 – John 15:13, NLT
2 – The great image above came from a bead available on Amazon.