Friends #4 - Randomness...

This post, (& maybe the next couple) may be a bit random... I attribute that to the seeing an abstract concept like "friendship" as a series of sometimes related pictures...


I suppose it would be easier to tell if someone was more Jonadab than Jonathan if they wore name tags, or if their whole life body of friendships was downloadable for review... but to my knowledge, that just doesn't happen. And I don't believe that the "Sarah Connor Chronicles" alternative, trust no one, is a viable option, as going through life with a mistrust, suspicion, & paranoia just don't cut it either...


With that said, I also think that listening to my gut has been helpful - if by gut I mean the nudge of the Holy Spirit - something that discounts the exterior, how much polish or presentability a person can bring to the table. Just about every time I've had one of those "something's just not right here," & ignored it, it turned out that the 'unease in the gut' was spot on. Maybe it shouldn't be 100% of the test for whether or not I start/continue a friendship with someone, but it would be foolish to ignore it.


Actions speak louder than words - & if someone's actions belie their words, I tend to trust the actions... most recently, I had a situation where a guy I'd never met, a guy in the same line of work as me, wanted to get together for lunch, to talk about things, & to 'build some relationship.' Sounds like fun, right? Except that for the past year, the same guy had been engaging in what I would consider to be consistent, unscrupulous, & unethical behavior, directly related to me & situations/people etc. that I was responsible for. So, though it was bewildering to the other guy, I let him know that I'm not starting at "Buddies" with him, no matter what his job is, or what he says. His actions & words are incongruent - & though I'm not shut down from ever seeing something come out of that 'relationship' - growth, healing, etc., I'm also not going to try to be a 'good Christian' or a 'nice person' & ignore the behavior, which I believe perpetuates more unhealth, this time close to something that whacks me in the head.

Friends don't talk smak about you when you're not around.

5 launchings into the blogosphere....:

laura said...

This is a really good series...
I have had a lot of problems with that last line about talking smack...not me talking smack, but people talking smack about me, then when confronted being met with one of several responses:
- it was out of "love and concern"
- it was for "prayer" purposes
- everyone talks about other people, don't be so oversensitive.
This has unfortunately led to some over-paranoia and distrust.

scoey-d said...

Or when confronted, its denied, & a completely different story is presented. And even when you know that they're smakking you, & they have an idea that you know, they hold to it.

As to the 'responses' that you've heard: welcome to the world of "christian" (small c) excuses for why my gossip & sin against & about you isn't really bad, but is really a 'spiritual' thing.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, & quacks like a duck... its a duck, no matter what 'religious excuses' or 'high sounding explanations' get thrown out - & if the person had 1/2 the character they thought they did, they'd repent & ask forgiveness, & deal with the issue in humility.

But this is where pride comes in, & spiritual superiority complexes - & the person that is talking that way about you is BETTER than you are, in their own mind, & therefore, what would be sin for another person, is acceptable for them.

And they really believe that.

TPluckyT said...

Ronald Reagan said, "Trust . . . But verify" Sounds like good advice at times . . .

I too am enjoying this series.

Murdoc said...

I think talking about this whole "friendship" thing is kind of a waste of time. (Enter line) Who are we to talk about peoples intentions & watching for Jonadabs & Jonathans. (Enter other line) Doesn't the Bible say we shouldn't judge & that we should turn the other cheek? (Enter other line to hijack blog) I was thinking of a possible new small group for the Spring semester. A few options:

1- Undermining the Obstacle through "prayer partners"
2- Exposing the festering wound that is the Obstacle
3- Gossip time- a time to make ourselves feel better
4- Mastering deflection & the blame game- everyone wins

Sorry, Louie. You can't come to any of these. That would just make it awkward.

scoey-d said...

TPT - I loved Reagan in "Bedtime for Bonzo." And the whole Berlin Wall thingy.

Brother - thanks for the encouragement... Group #1 sounds really promising, as does #4.