Nov 032016 2 Responses

3 Questions True Friends Ask

There is a difference between being a friend and being an acquaintance. When two people are acquaintances they enjoy one another’s company, assist each other with life, and are grateful the other person is in their life. But there is one thing they will not do. They will not risk the comfort of the relationship for the well-being of the other person. Acquaintances remain in relationships for as long as everything feels good. As soon as the feeling is gone, the relationship changes. Because of this, neither party is willing to risk the feeling of comfort even if it would be in the best interest of the other person. Friends are different.

Friends are willing to risk temporary discomfort for the well-being of the other person. Their love for one another is greater than their need for pseudo-peace. Friends care enough for each other that they are willing to ask the tough questions, confront the mistakes of each other, and do whatever it takes to assist one another even if that puts the relationship at risk. (See: Accept the Temporary Nature of Friendships)

3 Questions

1. How’s your heart? Our heart often connotes our feelings and desires. We want to have pure hearts and true hearts. We want to be people who are described as having good hearts.

When we ask others “How’s your heart” we are asking if they are in a good place. We are wondering if they are desiring proper things. We are seeing if they are hurting or in need or feeling broken. A lonely heart or a sad heart or a broken heart isn’t wrong, but it is in need of attention. We ask others about their heart to see if they are caring for it properly. Are they guarding it from the attack of others? Are they guiding it in the right direction. A heart left unattended is a heart in danger.

2. How’s your mind? Our minds reveal our perception of the world. A mind that is in a good place is thinking clearly, ordering life properly, and not being led astray by the temptations of the world.

When we ask “How’s your mind” we are making sure a friend isn’t headed the wrong direction. Bad action begins with bad thinking. The process of an affair begins when we start thinking inappropriately about other people. Greed takes over as we are deceived into thinking money can give us something it can’t. Confusion can occur when we don’t tell ourselves the truth. Clear thinking can lead to clear action.

3. How’s your soul? Our soul symbolizes where we stand in comparison to God. In the Bible, the soul often connotes the entirety of a person. (See: The Defining Characteristic of Long-Term Friendships)

When we ask “How’s your soul” we are doing a spiritual check-up for our friend. We are wondering if they are living in an awareness of God’s presence in their lives. Are they humbled by his love, overwhelmed by his kindness, and seeking to give to others what he has given to them? A soul that’s in good shape is well aware of its own need, lives within healthy community, and regularly seeks outside input.

Anyone can ask these questions, but they only have real value coming from someone who has proven their concern for us. We need people who know us well to ask personal questions and we need to answer those questions honestly.

Even if an acquaintance has the courage to ask one of these questions, they will quickly accept the surface level answer given to the question. A true friend will not. They will pry deeper to make sure we are seriously considering the question and giving a true answer.

Friends love one another well enough to risk discomfort for the sake of the other. If you don’t have people in your life willing to ask these questions, you don’t have true friends.

2 Responses to 3 Questions True Friends Ask
  1. Kathryn Reply

    I like the above definition of “friends.” I have a lot of people with whom I am “friends,” but something feels lacking, so while I don’t say it aloud, I tend to think we are just “really friendly aquaintences.” This post helps explain why.
    .

  2. […] Consider a small way you could improve the life of someone you know. Do it. (See: 3 Questions True F... https://www.kevinathompson.com/when-youre-in-trouble-who-comes-running

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