1. Someone who is older than you. They will teach you wisdom and grace.
2. Someone who is younger than you. They will keep you engaged (and remind you that “relevance” is a fast-burning candle).
3. Someone who is your same age. They will remind you that you aren’t alone.
4. Someone who admires you. They will give you a chance to leave a legacy.
5. Someone you admire. They will help you go further faster by sharing their mistakes.
6. Someone who has known you since that horrible time when you had pimples and your voice cracked. They will keep your feet firmly attached to planet earth.
7. Someone who believes in your future. They will keep you accountable and on course.
8. Someone who accepts you for who you are. They will become your “cabin-in-the-woods” when you need to hold nothing back and share your heart.
9. Someone who disagrees with you about politics, faith or economics. They will challenge and sharpen you to own your perspectives. You will have to listen better and seek to understand better than ever before.
10. Someone you have betrayed or hurt or wronged and have then reconciled with. They will teach you about forgiveness, mercy, grace and second-chances. This friend will change every other relationship you have.
At Christmas time, I think about all the incredible people in my life. The relationships and friendships God has blessed me with. And I can tag names to all of these kinds of people in my life during 2011. Some spots are currently vacant, but I am asking God for new friends in 2012. I will give a lot of gifts this months, but all year long I have received INCREDIBLE gifts from the friends who have been present in my life.
I challenge you to stop and thank one friend today for being one of those “someones” I listed above. Write an email or go old-school with a note. Or make a phone call.
What do you think? What kind of people or relationships are invaluable in your life?