Our working definition for #OolaFriends is this:
People close enough to see your blind spots, relationally connected enough to call them out, and interdependent enough to “do all of life” with you.
Here’s the PROBLEM with it:
We tend to change the definition of what true friends are.
Resist the urge.
Don’t re-write your own dictionary.
Don’t change the definition
Solomon, the wisest guy who ever lived (you know, the guy who saw two women arguing about who the baby belonged to, so he suggested, “Cut the baby in half!” in 1 King 3:16-28?) described friends in the following manner >>>
✅ Friends stick with you when things get tough- “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17 NIV).
✅ Because we need others and because tough times DO inevitably come, fair weather friends aren’t helpful to have- “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).
✅We’re reminded NOT to be fair weathered friends; others rely on us in the same way we rely on them- “Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend… Better is a friend who is near than a brother far away” (Proverbs 27:10 edited).
✅Much of the “tough stuff” we face in life is actually our own fault. We reap what we sow. Also, we cause some of the tough stuff others face. So, Solomon reminds us to have friends that can tell us what we NEED to hear, not just what we WANT to hear- “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6).
✅ And, of course, because conflict is part of any relationship (read: tension), we want people who can weather it… and endure with grace. So, Solomon is clear- “Don’t make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. You might learn their habits and not be able to change” (Proverbs 22:24-25).
Those are just a few ways in which Solomon describes friends. In reality, you can’t have too many people like that in your life. It simply requires too much of a commitment and energy- if you’re going to be a good friend AND have some good friends.
My guess is that after reading a few of the verses above from Solomon- which, really, just brush the surface of what true friendship is like…
… you *might think something like this: “Geez… if that’s what true friends are like, IT REALLY IS difficult to actually maintain too many of them… a lot is required.”
You’re right. Friendship is a lot of "give."
A lot of it…
(The flip-side is that it's also a lot of "take," a massive amount of benefit.)
I think we inherently know this, though. And we know that our “friends” on Facebook, for the most part, aren’t really friends. This doesn’t mean Facebook is bad- it's an amazing tool for connection, right?!- or that most of those people don’t contribute to our wellbeing in some sense. It just means that surface-level connections of any kind don’t match the description of friendship Solomon starts sketching in Proverbs.
Because of this, we actually change people’s titles- even though their roles haven’t changed at all.
We refer to acquaintances and even “pseudo-acquaintances” as friends, right? I mean, how many times have you met someone in real life and then had that awkward exchange that goes something like, “Hey, I think we’re friends online… aren’t we?!”
You see, we’re “friends” online but we don’t even know how to interact in person. That’s clearly NOT friendship. That’s acquaintance-ship.
So, we come up with a new name for REAL friends- the kind that match the actual description we see outlined in the Bible. The term “friend” doesn’t do the relationship justice, because we’ve diluted the word so much, so we refer to these people as FAMILY.
Yet they’re not really family. Family is a group of people related by blood or marriage or legal contract (i.e., adoption). Family isn’t friend AND friend isn’t acquaintance.
You see how confusingly weird this can all get?
The language has become blurred, such that we don’t really know how to categorize people anymore.
We lean, now, towards having many and shallow relationships rather than having fewer & deeper interactions.
This week, let’s don’t do that…
Even if we’re “low” in the friends category, no worries…
We can rebuild— or build for the first time— that part of life, too…
Want to learn more?
Want to claim your #oolaLife?
Register for the free 21 day challenge (emailed to your inbox once a day for 3 weeks) at— www.Jenkins.tv/21
The challenge takes about 5-10 minutes a day, you can start any day you’d like, and the results…
… are stellar.
🤷♂️ Why settle for ordinary when you’re designed for extraordinary?
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