Stay away from the “supermarket-type” friendship

Do you honestly believe there are people out there who are happy without any friends? Such people could most definitely be accused of having cold hearts, as the inability or lack of desire to make friends is not a proof of power but of the emptiness of the soul.

Is it possible to live without the solace of a friend, the certainty that they would always be by our side? Would our wounds heal half as quickly without the comfort and care of a beloved friend? Let’s be honest: who makes us laugh the most if not our friends?

Such a wonderful freedom we have to choose out of so many people we encounter in our lives, the special few who have the power to brighten our days. Friends are those treasures that really make our lives shine. Personal experiences are our first indication of this. The experiences of others, shared through the medium of books or cinema, only serve to push the point further.

We understand even more profoundly the role of friendship when tragic situations come between our friends and us. A recent film released in cinemas, "Collateral beauty", brought to screen one of the most beautiful quotes about the infinite goodness of selflessly helping out a friend. This exchange was even more fascinating because the characters, Amy and Whit, had just met each other. Whit asked for the girl’s help, promising a large amount of money. Amy, however, was driven by another principle in her interactions with people. She believed that money doesn’t add value to her actions, so she refused Whit’s offer, proposing instead a different kind of reward, one that lacked any personal advantages. The exchange was only for the man’s benefit, because Amy asked Whit to do that one thing that would offer him most comfort: to devote more time to his daughter who, after a divorce, was living with her mother and was refusing to meet her father. "I will help you on one condition ", Amy said, "promise me that you will fight every day for the relationship with your daughter and you will win her back. Promise me you’ll be a good father.”

We often behave in relationships as if we were in a supermarket: I pay – I get; you want something, you must pay. "I helped him because he also had my back” or “I had to give him a gift because he also gave me a gift for my birthday” or “I don’t really like that Facebook post, but I’ll give it a like, to get one too.”

If someone refuses to pay back for a “service”, we find ourselves feeling surprised by and not quite grateful for the exchange. For sure you have felt this at least once. You must admit that the feeling is overwhelming!

What about you leaving people speechless for a change? Transform friendship into a bridge between you and all other people, not only between you and your inner group of friends. To be friendly is a quality that needs to be practiced every day, with anyone. You will be happy to notice that you don’t have anything to lose when you invest in a relationship with someone you share time with. You will not lose resources, nor good humour, nor respect, nor time... on the contrary. The goodness of spirit, the spirit of solidarity towards those passing by you will wrap your soul in irreplaceable beauty. It will bring music to your heart. The grateful eyes of those you value will give you the real feeling of value.

The Bible encourages long-lasting friendships based on loyalty, honesty and unconditional support. Here are a few selected verses on friendship from the Christian perspective:

  • “A friend sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18, 24)

  • “A friend loves all the times” (Proverbs 17,17)

  • “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4, 9-10)

  • “Bear each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all in perfect unity” (Colossians 3, 12-14)

Love your family, treasure your friends and show kindness towards every person!

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