Friday, May 29, 2015

Friends or Acquaintances? - a new post by @ShelleyHendrix

friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 Amplified

I wrote Why Can't We Just Get Along? in 2012 and it was published in 2013; but long before there was a book, there was my own journey of navigating relationships and the challenges they inevitably bring. It was in the struggles of difficult relationships, that the teaching, now contained in the book, was born and practiced as I sought God's help to be a friend who had friends. Since that time, and since I've spoken on this topic so much as a result of what I learned and found to help ME find and cultivate peace, I've also begun adding some newer life lessons to that teaching. 

I'll share one of these with you today:

Sometimes we get upset with folks for not being "true friends" when in reality they're just being true to what they actually are - kind acquaintances. 

I've lost count of how many people have gotten their feelings hurt (myself included) when someone used their freedom to say, "no" to a favor or request that was asked of them. Oftentimes, in the name of "Christian love," we have a really difficult time saying "no" when we really should.

As we grow in maturity, one of the gifts we begin to receive and give, is what we tried to communicate in our earliest years: the power of saying NO. We're all given a limited number of yes's we can give in any day or season of life. We can't give all of them to acquaintances leaving nothing for our true friends or families. (As my team at Church 4 Chicks has heard me say, I'd rather get a firm no than a wishy-washy yes any day.)

A true friend is a priceless gift. A kind acquaintance is also a gift. But these friendships are not meant to serve in the same way in our lives. Allowing people the freedom to be who they are and what they are gives us freedom to enjoy our relationships for what they are without unrealistic expectations messing things up for all involved.

Maybe that person was not rejecting you or abandoning you. Perhaps she was a kind acquaintance who needed to save her "yes" for someone closer to her. This doesn't make you unimportant, nor does it mean your needs are unimportant - but it might mean you're looking to the wrong source to have those needs or desires met.

Is there someone you've been expecting more from than you should?

How might you better enjoy your relationship with this person by accepting that maybe he/she is a kind acquaintance and not a "true" friend?

Shelley Hendrix is the founder of Church 4 Chicks and the brand new Heart Smart- Counseling, Coaching and Consulting practice with her best friend and husband, Stephen Hendrix. 

You can find Shelley's website, social media links and more at but you'll typically find her sipping coffee, taking pics of sunrises and sunsets in her new coastal hometown or wrestling with her crazy Beaglador named Annie.

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