There are three types of friends. We have all three types in our lives AND we are all three to other people. I learned this from a woman that I love and trust!
It was a January morning. I was sitting in the living room of Jeanne Mayo, Youth Leaders Coach, ready to soak in some of her wisdom and learn all I could from this amazing, faithful woman of God.
I sat on the edge of my seat, as I always do when Jeanne teaches. She began, “This morning I want to talk with you about The Friendship Trinity.” The word “friendship” struck a nerve – I didn’t realize I had felt hurt.
My heart began to beat faster as she began to share what this meant. A light bulb went off in my head…….and heart. Friends have hurt me; I’ve hurt friends too.
I think I get friendship more now than ever. Let me try to explain the freeing truth that I learned and hopefully the following will help us all along the way.
The first type of friend is “Confidants”. A confidant is someone who is FOR YOU! It is a person who loves you for who you are! Confidants encourage you and are faithful to you. Webster’s dictionary says a confidant is “a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others.”
Photo: Jeanne teaching about Friendship
Confidants DEEPLY listen and TRULY care. David and Jonathan in the Old Testament were confidants. They shared a kindred spirit. Confidants don’t always tell you what you want to hear but do tell you what you need to hear.
A confidant friendship doesn’t just happen; these friendships need to be cultivated. And realize, these friends are very rare. Jeanne says, “If we have a handful of confidants in our lives, we’re BLESSED.”
The second type of friend is “Constituents”. A constituent is someone who is FOR WHAT YOU ARE FOR. There’s a big difference between confidant and constituent: notice that constituents are not for YOU but they’re for what you are for.
Constituents don’t last a lifetime. TD Jakes says constituents may leave you or betray you because they were never for YOU, instead, “they were just for what you were for.”
Realize that these people aren’t bad people; they’re just not a confidant. Be free from the disap-pointment that they were not a confidant. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because they were not for YOU. Also realize that you’ve been a constituent to some people too.
The last type of friend is “Comrades”. Comrades are people who are AGAINST WHAT YOU’RE AGAINST. You sometimes hear about this type of friendship when you listen to people who served alongside of each other in the military…..they were against the same thing (the threat to our freedom, etc.).
Similarly, you see this often when people join together in a cause. For example, this month is breast cancer awareness month. It’s an annual campaign to raise awareness to fight for prevention and a cure for breast cancer. Millions of people around the country join together in their pink as they fight against breast cancer.
Comrades leave quickly; they’re around for a reason and a season. Don’t feel sorry for yourself when they are no longer a part of your sphere of friendship. Instead, celebrate what you accomplished together.
Confidants, Constituents and Comrades. What can we learn about these three types of friendships?
Don’t expect every friend to be a confidant. I realized I treated some people as confidants, when they were really constituents or comrades. I’ve shared my heart and dreams with people who were not for ME. We had common interests; but we weren’t kindred spirits.
Are you having a hard time moving beyond the past because you are carrying around hurt that some friends were not confidants? Maybe you need to be a little more cautious in the future in not sharing all your hopes and dreams with everyone, thinking that every friend is for YOU. But it doesn’t mean you stop developing deep friendships.
Seek God in your relationships! He will send you a confidant, maybe several confidants. If you already have a few confidants in your life, thank God for them and treat them well.
Strive to be a confidant (rather than just a constituent or a comrade) to more people. Be for PEOPLE, not just for what they are for or against what they are against.
I think our world would be a better place if we all did a better job in friendships. Jesus is our example….He never stopped loving people and connecting with people. Let’s work on showing love, grace and kindness along the way…and to deeply listen and truly care about each other.
Photo: Marie in Jeanne’s office after soaking in the lesson on friendship.