Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fair Weather Friends

Since the Sisterhood began here in Houston, it's been a real study in human behavior; how eager young women are to have good friends, to connect with others who will encourage and affirm who they are, and to be guided and given constructive criticism about how they can improve their lives.  Of course there was a rigorous screening process to make sure only the girls who were ready for the challenges of real change were allowed to be initiated into the group.  But the outpouring of how many more are excited about joining this wonderful world-wide support group, really has me amazed!

Among women, probably from time immemorial, the bonds of friendship have played a crucial part of keeping us strong, focused and emotionally healthy.  Women who lack such a network of care, often struggle to keep depression and negative attitudes at bay.  And when the friends they thought they could rely on are shallow and self-seeking, their sense of worth can easily be shaken, especially those who don't have a firm relationship with God.

I've seen a lot of sweet poems and lovely words about friends and caring and sisterliness on our blogs and Facebook pages, and it's so good for women to have that freedom to express how we feel.  But long-term friendships can go through ups and downs, misunderstandings and moments of disappointments that really test whether the sweet words are true or just words.  So before the rough patches in the road come along, take these into consideration:

Your friend may be going through some struggles that she may not feel free to share with anyone, but she still needs your support.

Your friend does not have all the same strengths or weaknesses that you do, and can't be expected to react exactly like you.

You can remember how bad it feels to be judged unfairly.  Don't be so quick to become judge, jury and hangman just because she doesn't do everything the way you would.

If you considered her worthy of your friendship before, don't you think she deserves your help in steering her back on course?

When faced with a small amount of information about someone else, we all have the vile tendency to jump to conclusions - and negative conclusions - and we enjoy entertaining them, justifying them, and feeling superior.

Don't imagine for a moment that no one has to endure your flaws as well!


As Jesus said, "If you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?" (Matt. 5:46)  Making friends with someone who is a mirror image of you is easy, but learning to love those who are not just like you is an exercise in becoming a Woman of God.

18 comments:

Chris said...

Wow. This is so true. We can't expect friends, or anyone come to that, to be just like us. Jesus accepted us the way we were and is patient as we struggle to change, but He loves us and cheers us on, never condemning. Why should we do any different?

Sibon said...

I like this post. Its so true. Many times i have made the mistake of expecting people to be like me or smiliar (as if i was something special) and if they were not i used to jump to conclusions and judge them. After reading Mrs Cristiane's book and the article "she understands", it made me think of my friends and those around me in a different way. Its helped my to understand the reason why people act the way they do and they may be going through alot inside. its helped me to understand people and be patient with them just as God is patient with me.

Debora Anjos said...

Very true. It is good to still believe in friendships where trust will always be there despite hurtful things the person may have done, said to, or thought of you...

Leyli said...

Mrs.Evelyn,

I agree and this is so true that we shouldn't be quick to judge others for we don't know what that other person is or has gone thru.
Support and encourage those who are down and upset. It makes sense when the Lord Jesus says, "If you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?" (Matt. 5:46) Making friends with someone who is a mirror image of you is easy, but learning to love those who are not just like you is an exercise in becoming a Woman of God. Thanks a million!!!

Divya said...

That is true;0) The moments I treasure from my long term friendships are the ones where I was understood even when the other person might as well felt like slapping me ;0)

We are not perfect, and it is good to have friends who don't expect us to be. Also, even though I still need to practice this more, I love when my friends tell me something that I need to change for the better. I see that they care for me. Good friends know how to help you without attacking you, because they love you.

Also, I agree, our love comes from God and cannot be based only on compliments and encouragement, it has to be strong to pray for that person when they are down and when they hurt your feelings, to go the extra mile when they don't deserve. No one deserves. We don't deserve, but we receive from God, and we shall give as well.

Thanks you for sharing, I just thought of a friend, and I will practice what I read here ;0)

Bianca Moctezuma said...

this so true. i like this post.
many times we want people to be the same as us.
but God didnt make us the same
we all have something unique about ourselves.

-Bianca Moctezuma
Austin, Tx

Laura Perez said...

so true! everyone is unique so we shouldnt expect them to be and react about certain situations the same as we would do, which im sure alot of people do.I know i used to, I wanted all my friends to react the same way as i did and if they didn't oh boy! luckily God opened my eyes before any serious damage could occur.
Thanks! for the post Mrs.Evelyn extremely helpful.

Sandra Tiseira said...

I would say this is so true that we shouldn't be quick to judge others for we don't know what that other person is or has gone thru. Jesus didn't judge us he accepted us the way we were...

Cecilia lopez said...

It is definitely true many times we judge people without thinking what she's going.
Sisterhood is amazing as we become more fighting Sisters and share together as a family.

Alicia said...

We should accept the way others are and try to help them to the best of our ability just as we would like for them to do with us. The Sisterhood has helped so much, I've gotten to know more girls in the same faith and it's wonderful. Just like you I'm also happy that so many girls are interested.

Graciele Santos said...

This is really true!

Cindy said...

Hello Mrs. Evelyn,

Long term friends are hard to find. but once we found them we care, understand them, believes in them (in a sense that when they dont understand you, there will be ways that they will understand.)

as human we are not perfect, but as friend, lets help each other to be perfected just like the samples of Lord Jesus.

^_^
Cindy from Manila

^_^
Cindy from Manila

Diana said...

hi mrs. evelyn it's me again, Diana from Philippines.

I agree, it's very hard to like and love those people that are not having similarity with us, but it's a great practice really.
I before i'm so picky in choosing friends which is good because i wasn't been involve in a circle of bad friends anymore, but what i noticed is that, i should be really extending my eyes to look for others who completely doesn't have any similarity with me, coz she became a great challenge for me to keep.

thank you so much!
Hugs!

Izamar Romero said...

Mrs Evelyn I will confess, it is alot harder for me to make friends who are aren't "mirror image"

Princess Erika - Philippines said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn,

This is really true. GOD accept us no matter who really we are. HE accept us inspite of our many flaws. HE never look at us a person who have many sin. HE look at us as with a really great love!

GOD amazing love is so great!

Marites,Manila,Philippines said...

This is so true,
a true friend is the one who will help us and encourage us,
a true friend always there at our side
God is our best of friend.
He is always there for us.

thank you mrs.Evelyn

Marites,Manila,Philippines

Leeanne said...

Thank you for the advice ! Very true and helpful, at time's when the friendship is a bit rough for whatever reason it is sometimes hard for us to see thing's this way but in order to be a true friend and I think even consider ourselves true friend's we have to think this way now and practice these thing's.

Lily Torneros said...

Mrs. Evelyn, I love this post. I have read it many times, and agree even more every time I read it. I can honestly say that the Sisterhood has provided me with REAL friends of faith whom I can trust. Even if we go through our problems, I know they will be there for me, as I will for them. I am so thankful to have found a group so loving and caring, TRULY caring. Thank you for this post.