Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Friends as Signposts Pointing to God

Bike trail up the hill at Munson Park, Monroe

Les and Leslie Parrott teach us that: "If you try to find intimacy with another person before achieving a sense of identity on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself." Two relationship lies are:

1. I need this person to be complete.

2. If this person needs me, I'll be complete.

- From Real Relationships, Chapter 1, by Les and Leslie Parrott.

"It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone that we can have a real relationship with them."
- Anthony Storr, in Ib.

Henri Nouwen echoes this when he writes: "The power of friendship is great if it doesn’t find all its meaning in itself." (Nouwen, Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, p. 72) People who expect too much from each other can do each other harm. "Disappointment and bitterness can overpower love and even replace it." (Ib.)

But, "friends may be guides who see what we may not be able to see ourselves/" (Ib.) A good friend is not God, but can function as a signpost pointing towards God. This is about two basic truths:

  • I cannot change people, and people cannot change me.
  • God can use me to influence people towards him, as God has used certain people to influence me towards him.
I often thank God for those people he has placed in my life, through whom he has effected needed change in me.