Sunday, February 16, 2014

Friendship Finances

Disclaimer: This is NOT actually about finances, buying our friends, or truly equating friends to money! But the analogy is rich with opportunities. 

After drafting this post on Saturday, Sunday's church service was "Finding Joy In Your Friendships" and provided me with additional thoughts & ideas to enhance my post.  

Recently I have spent a lot of time thinking about and reflecting on how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends.  Friends near and far, who understand me, who are always just a a phone call/text away, friends who come to me for support, encouragement or just to laugh and share stories {as I do to them as well}, friends who I met via social networking and are now in real life friends, friends who have encouraged me to be the best ME that I can be!

I have also recently been thinking about and reflecting on the friendships/relationships in my life {past and current} that don't produce as much fruit, and appear to be almost be one sided.  I am not saying that you should only invest in a friendship in which you receive just as much in return, but there are relationships that tend to suck you dry.  

This deep thinking of mine was sparked the other night when I attended Fight Night, and ran into a dear friend of mine, who unfortunately I had a rather large falling out with.  Lindsey, the leader of Fight Night,  talked about how we are called to love and stand by our friends through the trenches and not turn our backs on them; this struck a chord in me.  The entire evening I had a tug at my heart to make amends with my dear friend and when we did I was filled with an overwhelming, tear inducing, sense of joy as an underlying barrier was broken down between the two of us.


During what was a stressful week, when emotions were high, I had some what of a personal revelation:
Friendships are a lot like financial investments: 

Invest in friendships with the greatest return.  The return can come in several forms: reciprocated support & encouragement, blessings for reaching out to someone in need who might not be able to provide you anything in return, a friend to spend time with laughing, crying and making making memories, etc

Invest in friendships with a long term return.  I feel beyond blessed that I have so many lifelong friendships.  I might not talk with some of my friends daily, weekly,  or even monthly, but I know without a doubt we would be there for each other to celebrate life's accomplishments, provide comfort, support & encouragement during times of need, and are always just a phone call away, able to pick up right where we left off.

Long term investments experience highs and lows.  Friendships are tough.  There will be highs and lows, and we are called to stick by one another; supporting, encouraging and loving each other through those highs and lows.  

Interest is based on the investment.  It's important to shift our focus, looking out for other's interests above our own, rather than calculating things for our own interest, and not others.  

Friendships require an investment of time.  A significant amount of time is required in order to establish wealthy relationships.  

Avoid the Get Rich Quick {pseudo}friendships.  Be aware of superficial friendships that offer a false sense of wealth, such as those based on status {weather it be in real life OR in the social media world}, acceptance, wealth, or what we perceive they can provide us with.  

While reflecting on the friendships in our lives it is just as important to ensure that as a friend we are a good investment for others; not only focusing on what is in it for us, but what you can give in return.  For me personally, when it comes to friendships, I do my best to be all in, with a focus on quality over quantity.




Tom, my pastor, added two additional qualities that I believe will add wealth to any friendship: 
Cultivate Transparency: "One thing all people who have deep and lasting relationships have in common is openness, allowing people to see their hearts!" Remove any masks, allowing people to see our hearts and who we really are.  
Love Does: In friendships, we must be willing to sacrifice AND communicate affection, letting the people we care for and love know it! 


Invest wisely, as friendship is a valuable commodity!  



1 comment:

  1. Such a great analogy--so true. When your account is drained empty, there is nothing left to give. You are by far the best investment I've ever made! xoxo

    ReplyDelete