The Best Friend. Cliche, I know; it’s the Classic, American, perennial term for the person who gets you 100% and can usually talk sense into you when you’re feeling down. When I think of the term, “best friend” I enjoy Urban Dictionary’s definition:
“Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you’re sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. They give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases they would take a bullet for you, coz it would be too painful to watch you get hurt.”
While I think Urban Dictionary’s definition surely captures the classic understanding of the “Your Bert to my Ernie” type of relationship, there is a bit more to the definition and necessity of the “Best Friend”
- The Best Friend is a Reflection of Unconditional Love: In a society that has become more about “what you’ve done for me lately” it’s often difficult to find people that will stick through your mistakes and take the extra step to love you even better. The best friend walks with you through your junk and often is apart of your personal breakthrough in the toughest of moments. Most of the time they see you in your ugliest and most decrepit of moments, yet, they will still choose to love you. Ultimately, the unconditional love of a best friend points you to Christ and knowing Him more; coincidentally, you also find more of who you are in Christ.
- They Bring a Bit of Everything to the Table: In many instances the best friend does not have a particular reason why you and her may be friend. You and him might not even remember how you guys first met. But that’s the beauty, the relationship simply works; it’s wonderful because the best friend brings a bit of everything: that favorite football team, genre of music, outdoor experience, etc…they’re simply content to being with you and don’t make you feel like you have to be something particular in order to be in their life.
- There is a Constant Exchange of Following and Leading: in the most functional of best friend relationships, the best friend engages in a beautiful dance of following and leading with you…they are releasing in nature. There is no skirmish for who the dominant person is; or any pride of who the more knowledgable person is. A best friend is comfortable with taking charge in certain situations and, at the same time, will gladly default to you in other circumstances. In a sense, natural leadership and the ability to follow comfortably are cultivated.
So there it is folks, three reasons why you might need a best friend and what [I think] having a best friend means. We get so caught up with the traditional definition of what it means to have a “best friend” and, many times, it becomes an all-consuming search for a self-validating relationship. If I think about my own best friend, I find the most beautiful moments were birthed out of high sacrifice and a desire to keep in touch with one another even while being thousands of miles away.