There’s No ‘I’ in ‘Friend’ Part 1: Selfishness

I have some of the weirdest dreams.  Just ask my friend Elizabeth, I tell her all of my dreams, and she would probably agree.  Last week I had a dream and in it I was arguing with someone about how to spell the word ‘friend’.  And the person yelled at me and was like, “THERE’S NO ‘I’ IN FRIEND!!!”  And I yelled right back, “YES THERE IS!!!  F-R-I-E-N-D!!!”  And we went on arguing about how to spell the word.  And then I woke up. 

When I woke up I was thinking about it.  And how it applies to my life right now.  And maybe the person in my dream was right to an extent.  So I decided I’m going to write a two-part blog about friendship and I’m going to try to prove how there really isn’t an ‘i’ in ‘friend’.  Or at least… why there shouldn’t be.

You’ve probably heard the old phrase, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” And after the dream I had and the lessons I’ve been learning this summer, I would say that the word ‘friend’ should be the same way.

One of my goals in starting this blog is to be transparent. So I’ll just say it: I’ve been guilty of being selfish when it comes to friendships. And this summer God has really brought it to my attention and I’ve been trying to work on it. I’ve been learning a lot about myself and some things that I need to change about my personality, when it comes to being a friend. Sometimes it hurts to grow and change, especially things about our personality. But I’m thankful I have a merciful God that helped me recognize my selfishness rather than someone else blatantly pointing it out to me. Because that really would’ve hurt. And God loves me too much to leave me the way I am.

I’ve been selfish in ways that I never intended to. And I never even knew it. That is, until recently. A few weeks ago I started to examine myself and tried to get to the root of some problems and why I was feeling the way I was and it came down to the fact that I was being a selfish friend. Not in the, “I want this, I want that!” kind of way. More of an internal selfishness. Subtle, but definitely there.

I’ve had a few friends in my super-long 27 year-old life that are selfish and often only cared and only talked about themselves. Which you can tell by basic conversations. Because when they ask you about you, it feels kind of forced. 

Unfortunately, at the same token, I too, have been selfish. Let me tell you how: I’ve always wanted the most out of my friends and that’s not fair to them. Especially if we’re on different levels and in different stages of life. I can’t expect a friend who has a family to be available all the time. I can’t expect a friend who works full-time to want to hang out after work. Or to always respond to my text messages and phone calls. A coach of mine once told me, “Kristen, the only person who will ever meet your expectations is YOU.” And that’s true. I can’t expect people to meet MY expectations.

Selfishness can ruin a lot of things. If you want a friendship to last and be successful it’s important to not become selfish. Imagine if Jesus decided to be selfish. He probably wouldn’t have died on the cross for us. I’m thankful He chose to be selfless.

I challenge you today, when you text someone, to not use the word “I” at all in your conversations. It’s hard. But maybe it will open your “eyes” (pun intended!) to how selfish we humans can be and how often we think about ourselves.

So in closing, I’ve decided if we were to spell the word ‘friend’ without the letter ‘i’ it would still sound the same:  FREND. And it would make things a lot easier

Until next time…

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