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Reflecting on the week

This is my first commitment-free day in three weeks and I'm loving it. The overwhelming lion's share of my summer busyness has been great stuff, but a breather is just the thing for me right now. And it's cool and gray, so all the better.

The past week's social calendar, however, was time well spent. Monday's dinner with the Denneys was a lot of fun despite the heat (they have a third floor apartment in a building with no air conditioning and poor circulation). I love the feeling of building something intentional with new friendships, as well as sharing lots of laughter. barlow_girl and I enjoyed our now-regular Tuesday dinner night where she cooked another fantastic meal (with enough leftovers for me to have dinner Wednesday, too). Community Group was Thursday, and last night we went to Bainbridge Island for dinner with my last boss and his family. Their hospitality was exceptional, their kids were adorable, the food was delicious, and reconnecting was welcome, though a tiny bit strained. Time passes, and sometimes we carry our wounds in unexpected, unexamined places. That said, I think it's important to have friendships where everything isn't easy and there aren't clear utilitarian reasons for holding onto them.

The larger picture we're seeing is the importance of intentionality—what it means to be a good steward of the time relationships with which God has blessed us. Who will be our closest friends, and how will we pursue them? Who needs someone to come into their life, and how will we respond? Which friendships are better maintained with monthly or yearly contact to keep us all from being spread too thinly? There aren't necessarily clear or singular answers, but there are choices that need to be considered and made. God gives us the dignity of doing so—choosing is an expression of His image, and seeking His guidance in those choices is an expression of a right relationship with Him.

Comments

I hope you enjoy your margin today. Am very glad to have been part of all the busy-ness this week, and to be asking the forward-looking, outward-facing questions with you. :D
Ditto on your last sentence, dear one.

Inquiry

Have you ever had a friend for a long time, then awoken one day & realized they had a lot of negative qualities? Does one purposely insert space between himself and this person, or still fight for a possibly unhealthy friendship?

Just wondering. I respect your advice.

Re: Inquiry

Harsh as it sounds, I'm rarely surprised by anyone's negative qualities and am usually aware of them up front in my friends. So it's a hard hypothetical in which to place myself, and I'm not sure I'd trust my advice on it.

Objectively, are those negative qualities sin, and is my friend a believer in Christ? If so, I think Matthew 18 would have to inform my approach to my friend. Beyond that, what are my hopes for the friendship? What does it add to our lives and to the Kingdom? What energies are tied up in it and can they be put to better use? How am I affected by my friend?

Sometimes we're called to suffer for others; sometimes not. Christians sometimes seem to act as if things are right because they're hard, but I think that's sloppy theology and poor stewardship of the God-given responsibility to make decisions.

Re: Inquiry

I know what you mean. With one friendship it took me years to realize that it was unhealthy, and I believe the best thing I did was end it.

I cut off all contact for almost a year, and then only allowed LJ comments. He has finally come to realize that some of the things he did and said were very inappropriate. He has learned a lot.

I'm still not sure I should allow the friendship to develop any further, but I'll just let God determine that.