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Tanya Wilson

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I had an interesting discussion around friendship the other day with a person in the coffee shop. The person I was chatting with was going on and on about a friend of theirs that did so many things for their family. The gifts that were given were amazing and the meals that had been prepared and delivered sounded like something straight out of Emeril’s cooking show….bam! 20 minutes had passed and I was now hearing about trips that the friend had taken them on all expenses paid….wow. I couldn’t help, once I could get a word in edgewise to ask, “What part do you play in the friendship?” The fast paced ramble slowed down soon coming to a complete stop. Shortly thereafter, this stranger that I met in the coffee shop got up and left without really ever answering my question.

When I reflect on my friends I am grateful for the ones I call friend. Having lived in many places across the country, I am blessed to have a couple of friends that have been in my life for what seems like forever. My journey has taught me that a real friend is more valuable than many things and is not as plentiful as one might think.

Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that having a friend requires being a friend and that a true friend will stick closer than a brother.

As I was having my coffee shop conversation I couldn’t help wondering if that friend had not been in a position to DO all the things that were being done, would the accolades still have been flowing? Maybe I was listening from a place of discovery having endured lopsided friendships. No, I can’t co-sign for a car because it is not wise for me and buying you a BMW because that is what God told you……really! Do I have good ship lollipop on my t-shirt?

I am sure I plucked the conscience of the person in the coffee shop and I am hoping an even better friendship will be the result. It is important to recognize what kind of friend you are within your friendships. When I had to draw the line for my own self-preservation, I couldn’t help feeling sad because I was being put in a position that I never should have been. The sad thing is many times, we take advantage of someone’s kindness by loading them up with our requests. When we call, we fail to ask, how was your day we just go on about what is going on in our world? Your friend is somebody too.

When I reflect on some of the toughest times in my life I think of the friends I could call regardless of the hour and that could call me as well. I think of the friends I was able to help with food in my cabinets when times were tough for both of us. Back in the day, if I had rice and they had a piece of chicken, WE ate.

Friendships are reciprocal and absent of greed and selfishness. Friendships are careful not to tax you and exhaust you, but are nourishing and sustaining.

The value of a friendship will pay dividends more valuable than anything money can buy. The treasure of a friend will sustain you through many things in life. Ensuring that you are providing and offering the things that you are seeking will ensure that you will enjoy friends for a lifetime.

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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