Has the word “friend” lost some of its meaning to you because of social media? Do you think about the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? When I was in my twenties, I made friends quite easily, or at least I thought I did. What I actually did was make assumptions. I didn’t understand that an acquaintance becomes a friend over time, as we learn to truly listen, trust, and know each other. An acquaintance is a person I like and enjoy spending time with now and then. A friend is a person I do that with also but who also knows my sorrows as well as my joys. A friend will be there for me when life’s challenges start to overwhelm me. A friend will trust me with his/her sorrows and allow me to offer support when needed as well.
It has been said for many years that you are blessed if you can count the number of true friends on one hand. I agree. In the times of my greatest joys and my deepest sorrows, there have been just a few people that I turn to immediately. One listens and asks what I need. Another calls my name into multiple churches for daily prayer. Another will laugh or cry with me and know that is enough. These are my inner circle, my family of friends, and I am profoundly grateful for their love and faithfulness.
Understanding this difference between a friend and an acquaintance has allowed me to love and appreciate the people in my life without falling prey to hurt because of my own mistaken expectations. I love them all and they love me; the difference is the level of intimacy as well as the spiritual/emotional purpose of our relationship. When I am clear, my relationships are also. There are fewer misunderstanding, fewer pressures or demands. Life is simpler, easier, and more fun.
Love all ways, dear hearts.