How to Build Lasting Friendships: Celebrate the Differences
I'm back with part two of my series on building lasting friendships. Today I'm sharing about what it looks like to celebrate one another's differences and why it's so important.
I sat in the crowd cheering my heart out for my red-headed roomie performing onstage as part of Virginia Tech's Dance Company. My fellow roommates and I wore handmade t-shirts with phrases like "We [heart] Red" and "Go Melanie!" plastered across the front in whatever color craft paint we had on hand. Through our four years at Virginia Tech we attended every one of Melanie's winter and spring recitals. If anyone had seen us they probably would've assumed we were major dance enthusiasts.
Here's the thing: I know absolutely nothing about dance. I couldn't tell you the difference between a plie and an arabesque. The only reason I even know those terms is because I just googled "ballet moves". I didn't attend dance recitals because I love dance; I attended because I loved my friend. Dance was a major part of who she was and I wanted to celebrate that side of her.
Our friendship has now spanned a decade. That's a little more than 1/3 of my life. One of the reasons I think it's lasted so long is because we are able to celebrate one another's differences. If you see something good in someone else-celebrate it! Cheer one another on in whatever area of life they're in. Celebrate when they become a body-pump instructor, or have their third child, or win best costume at comic-con...whatever it may be!
You don't have to be exactly like someone in order to be their friend. Look for ways to support their gifts and talents. Pray for them as they try new things. Let them know you're praying for them. There is nothing more encouraging than having someone say they are praying for me in the areas of x, y and z. Be that encouragement for someone else.
My closest friends are those who have stood with me on the mountain-tops, not because they loved the view, but because they encouraged me in the climb.
How can you celebrate someone in your life this week?
Next week I'll be looking at the harder side of this coin...sharing in one another's struggles.