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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Friendship Return On Investment (ROI)

Are your friendships giving you good ROI, Return On Investment?

Thanks to Michael Henry for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

Shouldn't I be giving selflessly, not expecting anything in return?

I believe yes and no. 

After spending time reading works by Dr. Henry Cloud... In the Boundaries series... I've come to a realization.

There're certainly going to be occasions where you will invest in someone because you see their potential or because God asks you too. These may not seem like good investments and they may have no visible return that you can see. But they're good seed into God's work in that person's life and therefore still good investments.

But I believe those are the exception. 

In general, those investments above are not friends. Not really. Those are relational, maybe a brother or sister in God's great big family, one of his kids. But they're not friends. I think it's game changing to make that distinction.

By definition, friends are dualistic and symbiotic in nature. There is give and take. Breathe in and out. Ebb and flow. Investment and return. They feed you and you feed them. Yin and Yang. 

If that balance becomes unbalanced, if one side does all the giving and the other all the taking.... If there's no ROI... Then you may have a situation worth continuing (like a parent investing in a tiny baby)... But it's not a friendship. You must make that distinction. 

Why does this matter? 

Because your closest intimacy, the secret places of your heart, the people you spend most of your time thinking about and praying for (and with)... These should be your friends. 

You need to have relationships where your give and take are equally matched. 

If you don't, you'll be drained, weary, lonely, and wondering how you could keep giving and always feel it didn't matter.

If you're not being fed and feeding, you're out of balance. Find out which side you're out of balance on, and fix it. Stay in the symbiosis.

Your energy level, moods, and the amount of peace you walk in, your boundaries, will all be tell tale signs to let you know if you're in balance, if your ROI is working well.



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