As a blogger, one of my goals this year is to allow our readers to know me a bit more. As a result, I will share some things here throughout the year that are more personal in nature. Some of those things will be light hearted and humorous, and others will be more serious. For the purposes of self-disclosure, I recently wrote a semi-humorous post entitled 20 Things That Drive Me Insane! (on the inside of course). Since writing that post, I have thought of two more things that I would like to add to the list. I HATE misleading questions, (I’m thinking of one in particular), and I HATE cheap claims of friendship. In today’s post, I’d like to explain why these two things make me want to drive off a very large cliff.
How Are You?
In my opinion, one of the most commonly asked misleading questions is the question How are you?
I have grown to really despise that question in the way it is commonly asked. Seriously. In my opinion, this question should only be asked in the proper context. If the question How are you? is asked in the wrong context, it becomes very misleading. In addition to it being misleading, it puts the one being asked in a very awkward position.
Rarely does the one asking the question have the time, desire, or ability to be present long enough to actually hear the true answer to the question. The question is normally just a common meaningless pleasantry. The question carries an appearance of concern, yet it is often hollow of substance. If you don’t believe me, the next time you’re in the grocery store and the cashier asks How are you? Answer them. Really, answer them.
Tell them if you’re having a difficult day. Tell them why. Tell them if you’re having a great day, and tell them why. Don’t be vague. Explain it well. Answer their question fully. If you need to take a few minutes to think about the question, tell them to give you some time to think about how to adequately respond. Do this to all who ask you this question, and you’ll find out pretty quickly just how hollow and misleading this question usually is.
For the record, I would just like to state that you don’t need to ask me this question as a greeting or pleasantry. When you see me, you can simply look at me and smile. Give me a head nod. You could even say “It’s so nice to see you”. That’s all that is needed to acknowledge my presence. Please don’t put me in that awkward position of saying Fine. I really have no idea what is meant by that obscure word anyway. It could mean a plethora of things. If you really want to know how I’m doing, make sure we’re in the right context so I can actually answer the damn question. If we’re not in the right context, let’s spend some time together so we can find out the answer to this potentially important and involved question. That’s all I have to say about this subject.
Cheap Claims of Friendship
I don’t have many friends. Please hear me out. I’m not saying this in a pity party sort of way. This is not a bad thing, or a good thing. It’s just a statement of reality. Yes I know a lot of people, and yes I love lots of people, but true friendship is another matter entirely. As a matter of fact, most people I know don’t have many friends. I think if we understand friendship correctly, we’ll see that most people don’t have (nor are meant to have) many friends. The reason for this is because friendship was meant to be significant and rare. Jesus set the bar for friendship quite high, and seeing friendship from His perspective will radically affect how we approach our friendships.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15, emphasis mine).
The reason Jesus called His disciples His friends was because He was able to share EVERYTHING His Father gave Him for them with them. This is the best definition of friendship that I have ever heard, and it also narrows the playing field as well. To be able to share ‘ALL‘ that you hear from the Lord with another requires a significant relationship. It takes a specific alignment and open pathway for giver and receiver to exchange divine life. This leads to a shared life with another. Such friendships are not of this realm. They begin and are rooted in a heavenly realm (John 17:6).
Understanding friendship through the lens of Jesus’ definition has changed the way I refer to people. Contrary to popular opinion, I have come to realize that we cannot make or lose friends. We simply recognize the friends that we have been given from above.
I rarely refer to someone, or introduce someone as my friend these days. This doesn’t mean that I don’t significantly love that person, it simply means that the term friendship is reserved for folks with whom the Lord has opened the doors for me to significantly relate to. As a result, I want to pull my hair out every time I hear cheap claims of friendship being tossed around.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest:)