The Depths of Friendship
I don’t have a lot of deep, meaningful friendships. This isn’t really an accident, since I feel that we were only meant to be truly, truly close to a few people. Even Jesus couldn’t bond deeply with all of the Apostles. It’s also hard work to make relationships work, and I’m kind of lazy that way.
But one of the biggest obstacles to deep friendship is openness. It’s just difficult to open up to someone and let them know you. Most of the time I just don’t want to. And even when I want to, I worry.
I’ve got issues and a big mouth, and letting those two things out of the box terrifies me. When I’m with “people” I keep my business my business, and I keep a tight, tight reign on my tongue. And if I’m going to be close friends with someone, I need to be able to relax.
That means I need to be able to share what’s going on in my life that I usually keep private, but I also have to feel comfortable saying what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, and my honest opinions. And I have to know that the other person will do the same.
I recently heard someone quoted as saying that as Christian friends we should “walk on eggshells” around each other. Specifically that if we think that something we believe might offend someone – or if they disagree – we should keep it to ourselves.
How can you build a relationship like that? If I know that you are going to withold any opinions that aren’t agreeable to mine, then I will never know you. This doesn’t sound like friendship to me, it sounds like small talk. And I’ve already got more than enough of that in my life.