I was smiling to myself when I typed the last full stop at the end of this posting. I had been absent for so long from blogging because I had to deal with lot of rubbish busyness. The topic I want to raise this time is about best friend. The desire to write about this topic has been overwhelming my mind since several weeks ago, but unimportant stuff always stopped me from writing… sounds it’s an excuse, but to be honest, it’s not.:)
I remember someone asking me a couple of weeks ago whether I have best friends. “Yes of course I do” I replied confidently, “Everybody has best friends. They might be best friends from childhood or in adulthood”, I continued. “Why did you ask that?” I asked her back. “No, I just wondered; many times I got disappointed by people who I called best friends”, said her sadly.
Each of us has criteria to call people our best friends. You might agree with me if I say that general view tells us that best friends are those who know you quite well, acknowledge your weaknesses but still stick around, those who support and cheer you up in your cloudy situation, those who listen and care for your troubles, those who pray for your good, those who rebuke you in your sinfulness and motivate you to fix the wrong that you did, those who realise that you are not a perfect person and keep helping you to be a better person, those who laugh with you in your good times and cry with you in your sorrow, and so on and so on.
Having said these all criteria, we then say that how good it is to have best friends, but at the same time, how difficult to be a best friend! Becoming a best friend is not an easy task, but if we are, it’s a blessing, a privilege.
A glimpse of self-orientation
Are best friends always good friends and good friends always best friends? From their meaning, ‘best’ is superlative of ‘good’, which means ‘best’ has higher quality than ‘good’. I might have many good friends but don’t have many best friends. To call people our best friends or good friends very much depends on us determining whether people we regard as our best friends or only good friends. It’s so subjective or even sometimes self-orienting! We call people as our best friends when they are performing according to our criteria. If we don’t like them that much we will only categorise them as good friends, but if we like them we change their status to be our best friends.
This mindset has strong correlation with disappointment. I might not too wrong to say that we tend to be more easily to get disappointed with our best friends rather than with our good friends. Why? Because we put too much expectation on people we regard as best friends (with or without their knowingness). By regarding people as our best friends, much likely we expect them to perform as what we listed on criteria. That is why when things go wrong and it involves our best friends, we get disappointed more than if the party involving is ‘just’ friend.
A gracious mindset, ‘to be’ rather than ‘to have’
I am not saying that we should not regard or categorise certain people as our best friends, nor limit ourselves to have only ordinary friends. It’s very good to have best friends particularly for those who feel more comfortable talking to and sharing with certain people. Besides, it’s most likely to have deeper emotion towards certain people having the same circumstances and experience. This process will lead to become best friend. However, we need to realise that people are not perfect; they are human with their own weaknesses just like us who can fail to be a good friend. In our sinfulness, we have many limitations to keep loving to others, to keep good and gracious to them, to always pray for their good. Only the grace of God can enable us.
So, correct me if I’m wrong, the mindset of becoming a good/best friend to others is much nobler than the mindset of demanding for having good friends of our own. I want to say it again, pursuing to be a good friend is a worthy effort, regardless of our own interest to have good/best friends, or to demand people we call best friends to be like this and like that, as becoming a best friend is voluntary and unconditional.
I always have the best of best friends
His love is steadfast, His eyes keep on me, His will is my perfection and good, and His blood is shed for me. I call Him my best of best friend, and only by His grace He will also regard me as His best friend.