Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sponges and Granite

Some friends are like sponges, some like granite.

A sponge can be a very good thing to have when you're trying to wash a car. You have a constant supply of soapy water. Some friends are like sponges. They pour into your lives and the time you spend together leaves you refreshed. At least that's how it should be.

But some friends, insecure or needy ones, can be like dry sponges. They always draw from you and after very many encounters, or very few, you're the one feeling drained and exhausted.

I must admit I've been both kinds of a spongy friend. I love giving to my friends, and I like to think that they enjoy spending time with me, whether it's something as simple as shoe shopping, or an IM chat, or laughter around the dinner table. But during my own dry times is when I need the refreshment of a friend. And sadly, people don't enjoy friends who are always "draining" them.

We get out of balance when we rely solely on our friends to refresh our souls. I believe that God uses people as tangible reminders of His presence and His love. But there's no substitute for spending time with our Heavenly Father.

Other friends are like granite. I would venture to say that these people are mostly granite on the outside. Life has taught them to be tough. Receiving from those friends made of granite is difficult at best. After all, they're not sponges. Those whose hearts and souls are granite through and through probably do not have many friends at all. Granite is tough and cold. It can't hold anything or give anything. It merely exists and must be chiseled and chopped away. Granite is tough and probably lasts forever.

Granite is also pretty clueless. Stone can't refresh you, although it's good for paving and building, so it does have its uses. Friends made of granite need softening, if that's possible. But I know Someone Who specializes in impossibilities. If you have a clueless friend of granite, be patient with them and pray for that softening to happen.

Things to ask ourselves:

Am I a dry sponge of a friend?
Am I always trying to soak from others?
How much time do I spend pouring into my friends?
Do I exhaust one friendship and drain it dry, then move on to someone else?
Am I spending time being refreshed by Living Water?

Am I granite?
Am I clueless, unable to receive from anyone?
Have I allowed life to harden me to the point where I've not allowed myself to receive from anyone?
Do I need softening so I can learn to be a better friend?

Next time..."Acquaintances" and playing it safe

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