Friend Centredness 

Hello friends. I was involved in discussion with some friends a few days ago and thought to share it with you. 

As usual, the identities of the participants are protected and as always, I trust you will have fun while learning a few things. 

Enjoy! 

Lee: Hi all, I have a question. How would you know true friendship?

Tee: Good question

Lee: Oya oh!
Answers please.
Before I start calling us out.

Tee: Been thinking about this for sometime now.

Lee: Ok Na.
After thinking, what do you think?

Tee: Ha, me too I need answers o.

Tammy: I also want to know o. You just said my mind.

Lee: 😂💦😂💦😂💦

Ok naa, where PD (the rescuer of the brethren), PL, Sis G etal?

PL: We are all busy 😁

Lee: 😁

PL: A true friend is one who loves you unconditionally (i.e. regarding the true meaning of love), Will stand with you, tell you the truth @ all times, celebrate with you when you do, support you when you need it but will not stand with you when you are wrong.

Knowing true friendship only takes time for you to prove it. True friendship involves looking out for each other’s interest, helping each other become better and achieve your goals and dreams.

True friendship is not only when the other person is treating you well but when you also treat the person well and not take advantage of the person.

Lee: Thank you for your wisdom.

PD: What PL said, That’s what we think.

Lee: Athink you see am na?
What do you think PD?

PD: I just told you naa. She typed out what we both think.

Lee: Does it include regular visits to each other?

Bee: Not necessarily.

PD: Regular visits? No, that’s a job not a relationship. You visit as part of your fun not because you have a schedule to maintain. Or sometimes, if emergencies call for it and you’re available.

Lee: Thank you.

PL: You do not have the time to visit the person everyday, don’t expect it from the person too. When you have the time, do it. If you don’t, use other avenues to connect with the person.

Lee: Can friendship not run @ its pace? Must I visit my friends?
As talkative as I am, I really don’t like visiting.

PD: Then in this regard, you have to adjust. Care and love for each other are not virtual reality concepts. You must show it. Folks can’t read your mind so they won’t know until you display it.
I recommend you set up a routine for yourself to visit one friend or another per month, no rush when you do. I mean, make that your activity for that day. It would be easier if that friend is a family friend so your spouse can support you.
Same thing with making calls to friends and family.

Tammy: 📖🖊📝📝

Tee: Ok

Lee: Merci beaucoup.
PD: He hasn’t called? Why don’t you pick up your phone and call him and say, “Hey, bro, whatsup? You haven’t called for a while like you usually do. Is everything alright?”
By that one action, you have done two things.
1. You have shown that his calls were actually valuable to you and you enjoy them.
2. You have shown that you’re not just sitting down waiting for him to come and pay homage. You also care but perhaps you are not as great at making calls as he is.
You just might find out that,  like our Brother Will, his phone was stolen and he is still trying to get another one or like Sister Tammy, her phone is doing skoin skoin (i.e. has a problem) and she has to borrow a relative’s phone to stay in touch and so on and so forth.
The principle can be applied to visits, gifts, and so on.

Lee: Life would be easier if we did this.

PD: I get amused when I call someone who I haven’t heard from for some time and they spend the time complaining, “Eheeeeeeen, you have forgotten me, abi? You refused to call me. It’s not good o. I thought we were friends”. 😒😒😒 And I’m thinking, “You are using my call credit to tell me that I don’t call you?” For some, I just tell them straight to do that on their own call credit and not waste mine, cos in case you haven’t noticed friend, I’m the one calling now“.

On the other hand, I have had to tell a lot of friends, when I do call them and they are all over the place apologising for not calling… I tell them something like “Hey, our friendship didn’t start because of a phone call and it won’t end because of a lack of one, so let’s pick up where we left off and keep going”. They are usually grateful. Some of them are, perhaps, here on this platform. 

See, I’ve told myself that even if I am perfect, life isn’t. Things happen as part of life that makes people’s best intentions and efforts to still come up short. Give them a break, cut them some slack, they are people living in the same imperfect world as you.

Tee: What about when it’s only you dat does all the calling? 

PD: I will say this to you. How many times have you forgiven God of his transgressions? How many times have you sat down to listen to God’s prayers and answer them? How many times has God taken you for granted and forgot to connect with you on a daily basis? Answer is zero.

So, since you were made in the image and likeness of God, more so, you are the new creation the whole of eternity has been excited to see, you can do better than getting tired of being the one calling all the time.

Tee: Yes sir. 

PD: It is this same principle in every other relationship, including marriage, that God taught me years ago and I have been applying ever since: Love others as I have loved you. 

His love is unconditional, never tiring, never waning, consistent. Predictable. I’ve come to learn recently… Well not so recently sha… that God is the most predictable person there is. You know exactly what He would do in every situation. His predictability is sure. In fact, another word for predictable would be faithful.

When we read 1 Corinthians 13 and get to the point that says “Love never fails”, we usually read it in our contemporary English language and conclude that it means love always succeeds or love always wins but that is not what it means. The word fail there actually means to finish or get exhausted. So, what we are actually looking at there is “Love no dey finish”. 

I know I am right because it goes on to say “Now abideth Faith, Hope and Love”. What that means is that at the end of all things, three things abide forever, three things *remain* and they are faith, hope and love.

So love doesn’t finish. Keep calling.

However, I must draw your attention to something else. Why are you calling? Are you calling so that they would also call you back? If that’s it then you are not loving, you’re simply trading. And in trade, sometimes you gain and sometimes you lose. Besides, Jesus said if you do good only to folks who can return the favour, you ain’t doing anything awesome. The worst hypocrites can match you on that level.

Tee: That’s true. 

PD: Of course, if I am managing a relationship, I will tell the other person too to do better than just receiving all the time because love gives. If you love, you give. And if you return a favour, you water a seed and a beautiful harvest is in view.

But if your reason for reaching out is because of love (Agape o), then whether the person responds or not, you always win.

Tammy: Hmmm! 👍

PD: You know the funny thing? I have stopped looking for true friendship a long time ago. I don’t need to look for it. It takes time to recognise it but will I now hold back loving and keep running tests till I am convinced that this person is a true friend? Meanwhile, even if the person was a true friend, he might have perceived me an untrue friend because I was not reciprocating.

Tee: True Sir. 

PD: Instead, I just go on loving and giving. If you’re a true friend, with time I will know but meanwhile, in the same time you too will know I am a true friend. But if it turns out you’re not, well, you’ll eventually show yourself and the disconnection would be automatic, probably you would even run away on your own. 

Would I get hurt? Would I feel taken advantage of? Would I feel used and abused? Of course, I would. But why is He Jehovah Rapha if not for healing my broken heart?

Did Jesus not say we are blessed when men use and abuse us for his sake? Did he not say to bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us? 

You know why he said that? Its because he wants us to know ahead that folks would do that to us and we shouldn’t sit down and mourn over it. We should man up, get over it, and move on. One verse of scripture says “quit you like men, be strong.” That’s 1 Corinthians 16:13.
We are soldiers, not feel good groupies.

Angelo: Nice one PD 👍

PD: I think a major part of our problem is that we forget to use the parameters of our homeland to assess things. We use earthly tools and we end up feeling dumped on just like “earthlings” tend to do and which makes them look out for “Number 1”. The word says, if in this world only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. If our basis for life is only what we can see here, no wonder we are miserable. 

You know you tend to feel worse when something feels wrong and you know that you’re better than this yet you’re feeling bad? That’s exactly how of all men most miserable we are.

Lee: Thank you PD.

I enjoy a friendship where I am not pressured. 

A friend comes to visit and tells me, “If you don’t visit me, I will not visit you again.”  

PD: Your “friend” should not attempt to guilt you into doing anything. That’s exactly what I was describing earlier… doing good to folks because you want them to return the favour later is trading. If a person cannot see that you’re in a phase where your time is stretched thin, then, at the moment, he is being self-centred rather than friend-centered. Do what you can at your pace because you want to. Use your phone if you can’t be physically available. If the person now decides not to pick your calls, well then, sadly, let him go.Hey, our friendship didn’t start because of a phone call and it won’t end because of a lack of one, so let’s pick up where we left off and keep going”. They are usually grateful. Some of them are, perhaps, here on this platform.

See, I’ve told myself that even if I am perfect, life isn’t. Things happen as part of life that makes people’s best intentions and efforts to still come up short. Give them a break, cut them some slack, they are people living in the same imperfect world as you.

Tee: What about when it’s only you dat does all the calling?

PD: I will say this to you. How many times have you forgiven God of his transgressions? How many times have you sat down to listen to God’s prayers and answer them? How many times has God taken you for granted and forgot to connect with you on a daily basis? Answer is zero.

So, since you were made in the image and likeness of God, more so, you are the new creation the whole of eternity has been excited to see, you can do better than getting tired of being the one calling all the time.

Tee: Yes sir.

PD: It is this same principle in every other relationship, including marriage, that God taught me years ago and I have been applying ever since: Love others as I have loved you.

His love is unconditional, never tiring, never waning, consistent. Predictable. I’ve come to learn recently… Well not so recently sha… that God is the most predictable person there is. You know exactly what He would do in every situation. His predictability is sure. In fact, another word for predictable would be faithful.

When we read 1 Corinthians 13 and get to the point that says “Love never fails”, we usually read it in our contemporary English language and conclude that it means love always succeeds or love always wins but that is not what it means. The word fail there actually means to finish or get exhausted. So, what we are actually looking at there is “Love no dey finish”.

I know I am right because it goes on to say “Now abideth Faith, Hope and Love”. What that means is that at the end of all things, three things abide forever, three things *remain* and they are faith, hope and love.

So love doesn’t finish. Keep calling.

However, I must draw your attention to something else. Why are you calling? Are you calling so that they would also call you back? If that’s it then you are not loving, you’re simply trading. And in trade, sometimes you gain and sometimes you lose. Besides, Jesus said if you do good only to folks who can return the favour, you ain’t doing anything awesome. The worst hypocrites can match you on that level.

Tee: That’s true.

PD: Of course, if I am managing a relationship, I will tell the other person too to do better than just receiving all the time because love gives. If you love, you give. And if you return a favour, you water a seed and a beautiful harvest is in view.

But if your reason for reaching out is because of love (Agape o), then whether the person responds or not, you always win.

Tammy: Hmmm! 👍

PD: You know the funny thing? I have stopped looking for true friendship a long time ago. I don’t need to look for it. It takes time to recognise it but will I now hold back loving and keep running tests till I am convinced that this person is a true friend? Meanwhile, even if the person was a true friend, he might have perceived me an untrue friend because I was not reciprocating.

Tee: True Sir.

PD: Instead, I just go on loving and giving. If you’re a true friend, with time I will know but meanwhile, in the same time you too will know I am a true friend. But if it turn out you’re not, well, you’ll eventually show yourself and the disconnection would be automatic, probably you would even run away on your own.
Would I get hurt? Would I feel taken advantage of? Would I feel used and abused? Of course, I would. But why is He Jehovah Rapha of not for healing my broken heart?

Did Jesus not say we are blessed when men use and abuse us for his sake? Did he not say to bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us?
You know why he said that? Its because he wants is to know ahead that folks would do that to us and we shouldn’t sit down and mourn over it. We should man up, get over it, and move on. One verse of scripture says “quit you like men, be strong.” That’s 1 Corinthians 16:13.

We are soldiers, not feel good groupies.

Angelo: Nice one PD 👍

PD: I think a major part of our problem is that we forget to use the parameters of our homeland to assess things. We use earthly tools and we end up feeling dumped on just like “earthlings” tend to do and which makes them look out for “Number 1”. The word says, if in this world only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. If our basis for life is only what we can see here, no wonder we are miserable.
You know you tend to feel worse when something feels wrong and you know that you’re better than this yet you’re feeling bad? That’s exactly how of all men most miserable we are.

Lee: Thank you PD.
I enjoy a friendship were I am not pressured.
A friend comes to visit and tells me, if you don’t visit me, I will not visit you again.

PD: Your “friend” should not attempt to guilt you into doing anything. That’s exactly what I was describing earlier… doing good to folks because you want them to return the favour later is trading. If a person cannot see that you’re in a phase where your time is stretched thing, then, at the moment, he is being self-centred rather than friend-entered. Do what you can at your pace because you want to. Use your phone if you can’t be physically available. If the person now decides not to pick your calls, well then, sadly, let him go.

Lee: Fine, maybe I should still try. But, I have an honestly very tight schedule.

Two old and sick mothers to take care of, I stay pretty far, children and a baby too.

I have enjoyed pressure-free friendship in the past. I visit and visit, because I know my friend is busy, and I never threaten them about not visiting. And of course, I know they appreciate it, then when they find the time, they visit too.

Tee: This is the best group to belong.

PD: I’ll end with this, “Greater love has no man than this, than that a man lay down his life for his friends”. When Jesus made this statement, he wasn’t dead yet. The drive of the statement is not about literally dying to keep your friends alive. Although it includes that but what it really implies is that there is no love greater than when a man lives his life for the benefit of his friends.

Just live for others as God lives for you and you’ll be fine. One of my Pastors said, “Christianity is not about what others are supposed to do but what I am supposed to do”.

Ash: Great words PD! Truly blessed by them and thanks for sharing.

MJ: :mrgreen: God. Bless you Dr Lee for that thought. God bless you PDeeee awesome.. all contributors God bless you tooooooos.

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