In conversation recently a question was asked, “Why is it so hard to find a good friend?” The speaker continued. Often times I seem caught between two types of individuals: The first group are people who seem to be above me. They are the mentor types. They are often seen as leaders and stand outs. These individuals seem to have been on a life-long growth mission. They are spiritually and emotionally wise. They know their Bibles, are well-studied, and have great insight. They seem to understand life, relationships, and challenges.
The second type of individual is the less studied. They are happy and content being simple. To this group I appear very smart. These individuals are trying to succeed but often find themselves in difficult struggles. I feel smart when I give them advice and help them out. And, I am glad to help. More often than not, I find myself slowing down to explain concepts and ideas. Often bored. In this situation the encounters feel less satisfying. I seem to frequently find myself in a giving position.
I would like to be in the smart, leader, mentor category. But, if I am honest, I have to admit I fall short. If I am completely honest, I fall more into the student category. When around these leaders, I desperately want to hold my own. But, I think at times I probably bore and annoy them. And they probably feel like they are carrying me in the conversation.
Why is it so hard to find someone like me? I want a friend, an equal. But, it’s hard to find someone just like me. As I sit at the feet of a leader/mentor type it is delightful. However, as I look around there are 25 others also trying to spend time with each mentor. On the other hand, I could easily find 25 friends who I could carry. I don’t mind giving but it can be exhausting.
So, why is it so hard to find a good friend? Sometimes, the best way to find a friend is to be a friend. As I reflect on my friendships, I recognize that my relationships have varied between being the mentor, carrying some friend, and sitting at the feet of a mentor who carries me.
I am a glad to have a friend like Jesus. He always carries me. And at times I get to return the favor and carry my brother.