Milking a Bear


The above is a screenshot of a post by my favourite Christian Hip pop artiste, Lecrae on Instagram. I got a deeper understanding of what friendship should be after seeing that post and  I began to imagine how much we would have missed but for the valuable contribution of his late friend.

I want to share with you three things I believe are the major qualities we should look for in friendships that will profit our pursuits of purpose

1. Honesty

Like Lecrae said in his IG post, we need friends who will be honest with us to tell us who we truly are. We need friends who can provide an honest evaluation of who we are, what we do and where we are going.
We also need friends with whom we can be honest about our desires, needs and personal anxieties. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it;  “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

It was Plutarch who said “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”
You need friends who will be honest with you enough to tell you how much you are in a terrible shape and who will be willing to help not minding how you would feel about it- at first.

“A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.”
Robert Hall

2. Accountability

We also need friends with whom we can be accountable especially in our areas of weakness. I have found a great need for accountability in my finances and relationships. Thus, I have friends who keep me accountable in these areas.
As we do purpose, we must have friends who will hold us accountable for out actions. Irresponsibility is a killer of vision, accountable friendships keep us responsible.

3. Loyalty

True friends bring out the best in you. This takes time and requires loyalty. As Euripides puts it, “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”

Friendship is unnecessary, like
philosophy, like art… It has no survival
value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis

We have stories in the Scriptures of men whose friendship mattered to their pursuits of purpose. One of the deepest and closest of such is that of David and Jonathan. Their friendship manifested honesty when Jonathan declared that David had the potential to be King over Israel and he was ready to ensure that this potential came to reality even at the expense of his humanly rightful inheritance of the throne. Both men were accountable to each other as they stayed true to their solemn pact with each other. Both men were loyal to each other until death and David remained loyal to Jonathan in his death giving rise to the wealth and fame of Mephibosheth.

Without such strong Christ-centered friendships, we are in danger of wandering away from God when the pressure gets tough. We are however, set free to make impact for God when we are situated in the right kind of friendship environment.

The first step to building such friendships is being such a friend!

Some of us have been so hurt by people that we want to run life without the “burden” of friendship, I am persuaded, as remarked by Zora Neale Hurston, that trying to live without true friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it!

Do you have close friends who are and with whom you can be honest, be accountable and loyal?
How do you make friends? What other factors guide your choice? Please drop a comment.

This piece is dedicated to my friend and sister, Akanji Fiyinfoluwa as she adds a year to her life. May you be bound forever in the bond of the living.

©2014, Alabi AimPurpose IfeOluwa
All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “Milking a Bear”

  1. A good friend is also one who strives to make you a better person. A good friend is reliable, always having your back.
    Beautiful piece bro!


    1. Very true Oga. Alice Walker once said that no person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.
      Thanks for dropping by. Glad to have a new wig fly with me!


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