3. We Only Want to be Encouraged, But Sometimes We Need Sharpened
Of course, friendship is not one-sided. As we’re giving our time to and being vulnerable with our friend, they are doing the same for us. We have the privilege of receiving their vulnerability, and doing so in a way that communicates unconditional love for who they are, no matter their flaws. This is a particularly sacred part of friendship. Not only do we offer our truthfulness and vulnerability, but we receive theirs, too. In the process, we may find ourselves sharpening or being sharpened (Proverbs 27:17). Both are necessary components for a lasting friendship, though this isn’t necessarily the most fun part of having friends.
Many of us, myself included, may be tempted to run when it comes time to be sharpened by our friend. It may be humbling or painful to accept their correction, but this is a tremendous advantage of having close friendships! We have someone who sees us, loves us, and desires more for us. If we constantly try to escape sharpening or being sharpened in friendship, we are not only hindering the growth of the friendship, but we’re missing out on a massive perk friendship has to offer us.
Friendship requires much from us, and storybook friendships certainly aren’t written overnight. Why is it so hard to make friends? Because it’s hard work! The payoff, however, far outweighs the cost. When we are struggling to make friends, we may just need to narrow the field and, with wisdom, choose a small number of people we feel safe being vulnerable with. It is a slow and steady process, but the richness good friends bring to our lives is like the greatest jackpot we could ever win.
I am Mallory—a wife, a writer, and a dog mom to Roger. I love dry humor, clean sheets, sunny days, and frequent reminders of grace. These days, I hang out at malloryredmond.com, where I tell my stories with the hope of uncovering places of connection in our humanity. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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