All of us have had friends before. And with every one that has passed, there has been a little piece of hurt thrust into your life. As you get older these hurts increase. I moved to Houston when I was six or seven, but I didn’t feel much true hurt about leaving everybody I knew – I was young! I didn’t understand the meaning of true friendship. But then when my first ever best friend left our church and I never ever saw him again, that was probably my first friend-loss hurt that I’ve ever had. It happened again when we moved, except much more dramatic.
My point is that there is hurt in every one of us – hurt that is almost impossible to comfort by our own efforts. And who really wants to go around broadcasting that hurt to every person on the planet? No one wants all these sympathizers coming to them, and in reality, who would really care about a random person’s hurts?
We need to care. I am going to try to address the need to care, the desire to care, and the reason to care. These are crucial to being a good trustworthy friend.
The Need to Care
A few months ago I learned that the person who I considered to be my best friend did not feel the same way about me. That discovery brought a whirlwind of hurt, pain, and dislike for that person into my life. The person that I called a best friend really was not my best friend. Or was it really that way?
If we are going to be good best friends, we need to understand this concept: Sometimes people are there for you, and sometimes you are there for them. You shouldn’t be able to look at your friendship as looking in a mirror. You shouldn’t be linked identical-to-identical; friendships don’t typically work that way. Most of the time, God brings people into your life to encourage you, heal you from previous wounds, mentor you, or just be a guide for you. But in order for this rule to be true, it has to go both ways. In mathematical terms, it has to be commutative. If this applies for all people, it applies to you and to your best friend. That means that if your best friend (in your eyes) does not consider you his/her best friend, maybe he is only there for you, and you are getting what you can from him. But what if there’s this guy (or girl in a girl’s case; let’s not make this awkward) that considers you his(/her) best friend, but you really don’t care for them? At all. Maybe you are there for them. But here’s something important about this rule that you have to understand: you have to care for that person! You have to desire to care. Here’s a quote I was shown today:
“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most, to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return.”
The Desire to Care
Why should we be given the desire to care? Well, love stems from care, and the two greatest commandments are all about loving God and man; that should be reason enough.
But in case it’s not, you should remember a time when your life was falling apart at the seams, where everything was crumbling around you, and where your life was pretty much chaos and confusion. And do you remember how good prayer from another person felt? It is so nice when you are in need and receive prayer.
I heard a story a month or so ago at a church, where this speaker was talking about an uncle of his, who refused to get saved until a few months before his death (he had cancer). The speaker proceeded to say that after he (his uncle) was saved, he witnessed to more people in his few remaining months than most Christians do in their entire lifetime.
This is the kind of care we should be having. Remembering how close we came to complete destruction should motivate us to help those who are on their way there.
The Reason to Care
The reason to care is a great one. What is it? God cared about us first, and we are to mirror the image of Christ in all that we do. Therefore we should be kind and considerate and caring to those around us who love us. Also, we often care out of love for that person. If you love someone, you will mind if they get injured or are going through a hard time. It’s just something that you should do. That is the reason to care – out of love.
In conclusion, I want to draw out my original point. All of us have friends or people we know. All people are hurting. That means your friend is hurting. That means his friend is hurting. That means you are hurting. You may not realize it, but there is hurt there. There is pain there. There is sorrow there. You may be ignoring it and thus unaware of its presence, but believe me the pain is still present. So, do you want to have a friendship on the surface, or do you want to know the man behind the door?