After retirement I had plenty of time to invest in relationships, especially with women in the neighborhood and church groups. I taught Bible studies, led prayer groups, hosted hundreds of people for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I called, I checked in, I took food when people were sick, and at the end of the day very few, maybe two or three, returned reciprocal friendship.
After years of this, I grew weary of the effort.
Sadly, I have discovered most relationships are only acquaintances, not friendships. Few people put mutual effort into cultivating relationships. It takes work and few people are willing to step up and make the effort.
After ten years of teaching Bible studies in the neighborhood, I had hoped for more in terms of friendships. After a bigger God-assignment, I had hoped the relationships made in this effort would come to something, only to find almost none of them came to anything. Sadly, most of the relationships I thought were grounded in the Lord and lasting have come to nothing.
Once again, I have learned that “good friendships” were only an illusion. “If you are on my team and play ball my way and do what you are told,” you are “IN!” If you don’t play the “game” their way, you are “OUT!” The relationship factor was a joke.
For a long time, I have believed that the quality of the “golden years” was partially measured by friendships. I am being forced to rethink what relationships and friendships really are.
True relationships are not:
- Here today and gone tomorrow.
- One sided with a “giver” and a “taker.”
- Unyoked with no unity.
- “You play my way or you don’t play.”
- Smiling to your face and backstabbing when you aren’t around.
The list is endless.
What’s my point about reciprocal friendships? Do an honest assessment of who the Lord counts worthy to truly be your friend. Spend time and cultivate these relationships.
Shed and be done with frauds who wear you out and show no loyalty.
There are family members who wear us out and drain us dry and give nothing in return. Maybe tight boundaries are needed here.
Rethink your relationships.
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