Coinciding egoisms.

February 27, 2007 at 8:02 am 3 comments

The following quote is from Michael Quoist.  I like the whole quote but I want to reference just the last line.

We are satisfied by our decent little life.  We are pleased with our good habits; we take them for virtues.  We are pleased with our little efforts; we take them for progress.  We are proud of our activities; they make us think that we are giving ourselves.  We are impressed with our influence; we imagine that it will transform lives. We are proud of what we give, though it hides what we withhold. We may even be mistaking a set of coinciding egoisms for real friendship.

What is friendship?  For a long time I had so many people vying for my time I thought I had lots of friends.  For years there were groups of people I met with regularly, so I assumed we were friends. I thought that because there were people who came to see me when they needed something, they must be friends.  I had coffee on a regular basis with the same people and so I thought we were friends. What I believed to be friendships were in many cases just coinciding egoisms.

Many of our day to day relationships, that we might call friendships, are people with whom we get together because we need something or they need something.  We gather for decision making meetings, planning meetings, meetings to get things done.  We like each other well enough but are these relationships, friendships?

I am not trying to say that the people you go to meetings with are not your friends but ask yourself the question, why are we together and if we didn’t “have to” would we?

Who calls just to see how you are? Who do you invite over just to play games?  Who emails you with a Word of encouragement?  Who do you invite to coffee for no reason?  Who do you call when things have gone south, who calls you?

Proverbs 27 says a lot about friendship: v.6 Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. v.9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.  v.17 As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Apparently friendship is something deeper than coinciding egoisms.

I must be a friend to have a friend and sadly most of my life has been invested in coinciding egoisms rather than friendships. I am working on changing that.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Culture, Faith, Friendship, Thoughts.

Stab me in the front. Dry bones.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. damon  |  March 1, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Hi Friend,

    Such a sensitive topic……I tend to find that many of us want to have friends; need friends; appreciate friends etc, but most times only want friends to be as the topic suggests “coinciding egoisms”. Personally and professionally I find it difficult to find friends who are willing to be on the journey level or eternal level of friendship.

    Many people come into my office for health needs and I have been blessed with so much “human level” knowledge that I am able to share with others. The blessings have come from friends personally known or unknown; authors and researchers personally known or unknown; brothers and sisters in Christ either known or unknown; professional colleagues personally known or unknown and countless life experiences.

    I treat everyone who comes into my office as a potential friend; possible brother or sister in Christ (yes, I do not always do a good job of this). I want to give the answers to their health issues and as much as they are ready to digest and utilize. Satan has attacked the human body from so many areas and shared so much misinformation on good health choices.

    Many times I realize God has sent people into my office for my need; for my need of friendship; for my need of healing.

    The recommendations I give, appear to many to be to difficult to follow………essentially good food, good exercise, good sleep, good stress management and a sound nervous system. Just like the parable of the sower the ground on which this falls varies. The adive I give is much different that what has become the norm for our society and world overall; but the advice I have learned and share is the Biblically sound advice.

    As with what I see in health, I see in friendship overall. Many friends do not want to hear or even seek out from other friends/brothers and sisters in Christ the information that will truly help them see the real self; or be able to see how they are doing relative to Galatians 5:22-26. Many friends are not thinking eternal, just current. Many times when I go to a friend; I tend to just want help with my “current situation”.

    I am trying to look more toward the “big picture” but as you know, this is a difficult thing to do in the heat of the moment; however, reflecting back on any of my difficult life experiences; God has always provided the love and friendship I needed from the body of Christ.

    One of the many verses that God provides on friendship I think of when I think of one of the instructions on friendship is; Colossians 3:15-16 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

    So, as some of us will be and have “close friends”; I think we need to enter and treat every moment of every contact with anyone who comes into our lives as close friends and potential brothers and sisters in Christ who we will share an eternity with; knowing that we may not have the opportunity to get as close with some friends (now) as we may like to know, but we will have that opportunity in heaven:)

    Blessings brother and friend:) Damon

  • 2. Brooks  |  February 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Good stuff Greg. Love to hear and see what all you are learning these days. Hope we’re still friends.

  • 3. Harris/Jeanne  |  February 27, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Hey friend would you like to come over for a cup of coffee and talk about the Blog? I look forward to it.

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