As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Proverbs 27:19
As a staff member at a private, liberal arts college, I am constantly reminded about how important friendship is to the outlook and personality of an individual. Friendship, at its core, is the fulfillment of a basic need of companionship. It molds opinions and thoughts, it shapes personlities, it influences futures, and sometimes, even alters the past.
There are three basic types of people: trendsetters, followers, and standalones. Each personality type is unique. A trendsetter is the person who is found at the forefront of discussion, leading the way into new territory and standing as an example to those around them. The follower is the individual who looks to trendsetters to establish their thinking, appearance, and opinion. The standalone is the person who knows who they are, what they want out of life, and how they will accomplish their directives. In my experience, I have found that every individual falls into all three of these character types at one time in their life, and to be perfectly honest, a combination of the three is often a true representation of reality.
While having dinner with a friend last night, we discussed a myriad of topics, but the topic of friendship resonated in my mind, even until my coffee this morning. As a thirty-something in today’s world, I find it hard to schedule time to “hang out” with my friends. Career, husband, church activities, job on the side, and family matters often get in the way of sitting down and chatting with my girlfriends, but when I get the chance, it seriously encourages my heart. Why is this? Why is friendship such an important component to life and sanity? I believe that Proverbs 27:19 holds the key to these questions.
“As in water face answereth to face,” said the Psalmist. In my opinion, that just means that the reflective surface of still water can serve as a mirror. Simple, right? “…so the heart of man to man.” Like our “water mirror,” our hearts reflect when we look at our friends. Whether I am a trendsetter, a follower, or a standalone, my attitude, personality, and opinions are reflected in those with whom I surround myself. It is my duty to evaluate my heart and see if I am reflecting things that I would want to become.
Friendship does more than meet a basic need for companionship; it is an essential building block of human existence. Frienship is a mirror. I want to mirror joy. I want to mirror the relationship of Christianity. I want my mirror to draw others in, to make a difference, to impact lives. I want to mirror what I want to become.
So, it stands to reason that I asked myself (over a second cup of steamy coffee), “Am I an adequate mirror of what I would want someone else to reflect? Does my attitude encourage others to a joyful outlook on life, or am I a negative influence?” Whoever reads this, please keep me accountable. This entry stands as a challenge to my own heart to do my diligence to reflect the love of Christ, a joyful spirit, and an approachable personality.