I had this friend that would confuse me at times. Not sure if any of you may have experienced this or not? We would be out with our guy friends and he would be acting one way, then when we went to church he would be another, then at certain gatherings he would act like a totally different person. I remember a time we were at a camp together and he drank excessively, and cursed excessively. Which was contrary to who he typically was otherwise. Not that I am judging this person at all. We all have our errors, vices, over sights, that may be deemed as mistakes, or others identify as sins. However, I continued to get confused about my friend, as one minute he seemed to very spiritual, and another minute he was venting about people and activities he did not like, verses approaching them or the situation privately. One minute he would make a commitment, the next he would break that commitment or not even show up. He would act one way around me, another way around a certain group of people, than an entirely different way around the next group of people. He would say something to later claim he never said such a thing. If he was asked to expound upon something that I or others were trying to understand and clarify, he would dance around the topic with many words, never really getting to the point, or answering the question. There were times I never knew which version of this person he would be, from one weekend to the next, or at each gathering. It was if his spirit was torn on who he was, who he is, or who he wanted to be, not really consistent one way or the other.
I know in the world we live in, have lived in, being real, authentic and genuine can be a challenge. It seems our identities become lost within social influences, peer pressure, stresses to perform, or out perform, the desire to impress and influence others. Whether to climb the corporate ladder, or rise in the field of recognitions. However, I believe we were designed to find our true selves, to be authentic, genuine. Although we live in this world, have to put on a uniform, a suit, or other attire in our careers, during certain events, presenting a product, service, or giving a lecture; it should never change who we are, what we are about, and to Whom we serve. The thing about it is if you are around the same people or person for a duration, and weather certain circumstances, and life events, you’re true self will always be exposed, I say strive to be authentic and real. If you desire profound, deep, long lasting relationships, that are authentic and real, you must also be authentic and real. Be that true self in a consistent manner. If not, you may seem double minded, possibly hypocritical, and unbelievable. In addition, your reliability, and integrity may eventually be questioned.
Personally, I am drawn to authentic and real people. People who are comfortable in their own skin. People who know who they are, what they are about, and to Whom they serve. Confident people, but not arrogant or conceited people. Those that know they are not perfect, that they have not arrived, but strive to improve. Those that truly mean what they say. Those that their word is their bond, and that if I am in a tight place, they would be there with and for me in a flash. Those that inspire me, encourage me, as well as love me enough to keep me accountable when I may be going off the rails. People that don’t just talk about love, brotherhood, and say they love me, those that show me they love me. Those that know they make mistakes, that they have failed, and may fail again, but they have learned from their mistakes, and know they do not really fail unless they do not get back up. And in turn learning from mistakes, teach others what they have learned. Men that are not afraid to take a stand for what is right, sound and moral, even if they have to stand alone. Those that call me up or send a brief text just to say hello, that they were thinking about me, or if they could meet for a beverage, bite to eat, or if there is anything they could pray about for or over me today.
I am blessed with many friends, and I thank God for that. However, my inner circles become rather small, and most closest inner circle is extremely small. Not that I am unfriendly, nor unsocial. Those that have met me, know that that is not true. It is because trust, true brotherhood, the love that is nearly unconditional does not come easy. It can often be very rare. It is earned over time, over experiences, and over life events. You also become the average of your five closest friends. (Proverbs 13:20) I strive to exude the traits in which I eluded above, therefore my closest inner circle of friends exude them as well, not just in words but in actions and deed. They have the same character, similar morals whether in the office, on the job, at church, at a campsite, in the gym, or on a barstool.
I say strive to be consistent, be you, the real you, and the man God is molding you into. You will attract and maintain the right people God meant to be around you, in your life, and part of your wolf pack, and inner circle. Don’t preoccupy yourself with vain accolades, or to impress the masses or other people who do not even care. Don’t be a lemming either, blindly following others. Be you, the real you, besides everyone else is taken. ; )
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