It’s interesting that action movie heroes are portrayed as one-man armies that can singlehandedly save the world from ruin.
Have you ever taken an unpopular stand and found yourself alone? It’s a miserable place to be. Of course, your mom was right when she said, “If everybody jumps out the window on the one hundredth floor of a skyscraper into rush hour traffic, does that mean you should?”
As appealing and rugged as John Rambo is, we really weren’t made to live in isolation. It might be quiet in the closet, but it’s stifling in there. Where do you go when the overbearing weight of loneliness cripples you?
Unless you open the door and go outside, the loneliness won’t leave.
Friendship is essential to happiness. Great teams are made of friends working together to accomplish a common vision. Two can do more than one. One’s strengths can support the other’s weakness. It’s what great marriages can be when they paint the picture of a cord of three strands. When you weave three strands together, the resulting cord is much stronger than the individual strands.
Friendship makes us stronger. When we have a few good friends who are willing to speak truth into our lives, they serve to sharpen us. When we live in isolation, we get dulled by what happens to us. Often we’re not as honest with ourselves as others would be. That can lead to shame and even embarrassment, so to protect ourselves, we avoid the confrontation altogether.
But then we don’t grow into what we could be either.
The flip side is that others won’t benefit from our friendship if we don’t give it.
Ideally, friendship is full of benefits. But let’s be honest, sometimes the worst stab wounds can come from friends who betray us. Before we sit and soak in the pain we’ve received from others, let’s remember life isn’t always like that. If we have enough friends, there will be some who stand with us when others have beaten us and left us bloody and bruised on the roadside.
It’s friends that get you through when you find yourself walking in the valley of the shadow of death.
Cultivate friendships. Be a true friend to some. Your life and work will be richer, and you’ll enrich the lives of others too.