Who Are Your Friends… Really?
A friend recently applied for a government position requiring a top secret clearance. He asked if I would be a reference. I agreed.
The investigator who called insisted we meet face to face. We met and he asked, “Are you friends?” with a suspicious stare that made me feel like whatever I said next was going to be a lie, regardless.
“Yes,” I answered.
Then, with his eyes burrowing into me, he asked, “Have you ever been in his home?” As it turns out, I had, so I said, “Yes.”
Then the investigator relaxed a bit and said the most interesting thing: “I guess you really are friends, then. A lot of times we get people saying they are friends. But if someone invites you into their home, well, that’s a pretty good indication you are more than an acquaintance.”
What was this investigator getting at? It’s an important point: most of those we call friends are only acquaintances. This man used “in his home” as a litmus test to verify something deeper than acquaintance.
What other litmus tests signal true friendship? What else might have impressed this investigator? To have lunch once a month, be in a small group together, or go fishing twice a month would, no doubt, have made him nod approvingly.
On the other hand, I don’t think merely seeing someone every Sunday in church or working together would automatically qualify. Why? For authentic friendship, there needs to be some extra effort.
Lesson for leaders: If you want your men to know you really care about them, show some extra effort. Call your men on a regular basis, invite them into your home, take them to lunch, or anything else that would make the investigator nod approvingly.
Most important of all is our friendship with Christ. How will Jesus know we really care about him unless we invite him into our home? He already told us he would welcome the invitation: ‘“Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends” (Revelation 3:20).
Together in the Battle for Men’s Souls,