Recipe for Friendship

We read two questions and answers from The Larger Catechism (a Presbyterian church document) every morning.   It struck me that  these speak clearly about the duties and sins of friendships.  See what you think.

Q. 131.  What are the duties of equals?

A.  The duties of equals are:
          to regard the dignity and worth of each other,
          in giving honor to go one before another,
          and to rejoice in each other’s gifts and advancement as their own.

Q. 132.  What are the sins of equals?

A.  The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required,
          the undervaluing of worth,
          envying the gifts,
          grieving at the advancement or prosperity one of another,
          and usurping pre-eminence one over another.

I need constant reminders to remove the sweater of selfishness when I am with friends.  I need to learn these phrases until they become instinctive.

You go first.”
“Tell me more.”
“What do you think?”
“I admire that about you.”

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4 thoughts on “Recipe for Friendship

  1. The idea of heirarchy in relationships is offensive to many, but I think it clarifies much.
    Taking two steps back in order to examine the status of the roles almost always solves the dilemma of how to behave.
    I do, however, like the idea of be well-read in order to use the examples of relationships in novels (i.e. Austen’s) instead of those known personally to us.
    I did have one college friend, who took the *you first* idea too far.

  2. When i first read your entry i read it as “I need constant reminders to remove the SWEAT of selfishness when I am with friends.” It fit in my brain, because selfishness is dirty work! I’ve always found the best & most satisfying friendships to be reciprocal.
    i had a friend who would always say, Tell me everything,” if i’d been on a trip, or to the doctor’s or whatever. Even when she was in her last weeks on earth, on a hospital bed in her living room, she would greet me with a weak “Tell me everything!” She’s missed by everyone who  knew her, but i look forward to hearing her greet me in heaven with Tell me everything!”

  3. It is interesting to me that there is no such concept as parity in many cultures. Christainity alone embraces the idea that there are no differences, that we are all one, all equal in Christ. I love your imagery of the sweater. I love to think of Mercy and Christiana and how they viewed one another, each esteeming the other better than themselves. I esteem you Carol. Love and blessings, m

  4. An excellent post, and wonderful reminder.  That old document is full of practical wisdom!  I have a little book by Doorposts for Wives based on the WLC’s treatment of the 5th commandment.  Wow is it convicting!

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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