There Is No Better Service Than Being A TRUE Friend
It's always nice when someone helps you out when your car breaks down, or does a few chores around the house for you. There's nothing wrong with that kind of service and we all go through times where we need a little help. But I've learned that some people don't realize that being a friend to someone is also a type of service. In fact in my opinion, there is no service more important that being a friend to someone. This type of service is not only the most important and effective, it's also takes the most effort to accomplish.
You can't just go halfway when you're trying to befriend a lonely person who obviously needs a friend or two. What do I mean by halfway? Well, it's pretty easy to determine whether you're doing it right or not by asking yourself, why am I talking to this person? Is it because I think they would enjoy MY company? Or is it because I think that I will enjoy THEIR company?
Maybe you've never thought about it, but if you're going up to someone and introducing yourself simply because you pity their loneliness, all the while wishing you were with your 'real' friends, it will come off that way. The people you interact with can read your real intentions better than you think. So when that person doesn't ever really become one of your friends, don't be surprised. A halfhearted approach is worse than none at all, especially when that person hopes you'll talk to them again and you never do.
Instead of taking the halfhearted approach, you need to actually WANT to get to know that person. Not for them, but for yourself! If you sincerely want to talk to them, they will feel it and find it easy to open up to you. It's not as hard as you might think since every person you meet has something new and original to offer. You may not see it at first, but if you continue to hang out you'll learn just how enjoyable every new friend can be.
The human ability to love and make friends has no limit. Contrary the belief of naive teenagers who regularly assemble in only small groups of 'cool' friends, while rejecting the 'nerds', we are emotionally capable of reaching out and becoming close to an endless number of individuals. So if you feel like you have all the friends you can handle, you are always going to be wrong. Everyone needs a good friend and just because you think you have enough, that doesn't mean everyone else does.
In the LDS church we are always looking for ways to serve each other because it draws us closer to Heavenly Father. Being a true friend to someone is service at it's finest. Just think of all the true friends you have and how much their friendship means to you. If you are a true friend to someone who really needs you, there's no better way to serve. When you really think about it, it's quite astonishing that mowing a lawn or cleaning out a garage is not near as important as spending quality time with your friends. If you sincerely welcome everyone into your circle of friends, the amount of good you'll be doing is far more than you could imagine.
Article written by Shelly Allen.
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