It sounds self serving, but should our friendships be strategic? Somehow the words friendship and strategy should never appear together, right? Before you dismiss the concept altogether, consider that a strategy is an intentional pursuit of a goal. I have key strategic friendships in my life. These are not self-serving, one-way relationships. That’s not a friendship. But relationships that are two-way conversations. They are shared story lines that intercept in time and create a common narratives for two people. I have strategic friendships because I need the perspective, input and companionship of friends who help me grow in the areas I’m most deficient. However, I pray that I can give more to my friend than what I get from them.
I have friends who challenge and guide me spiritually. I can always count on them to probe deeper and hold me accountable to my personal spiritual growth.
I have friends who stimulate me professionally. I love learning from people who have a mind for business and are doing well.
I have friends who push me physically. Fitness is a big part of my daily routine. I run, cycle, lift weights and my athlete friends keep me accountable. I wrote more about them here.
I have friends who share with me a difference perspective in life. The older I get the more I tend to live in a bubble. And my bubble seems to get smaller every day. I have friends outside my demographic and psychographic bubble. They are in different stages of life than me and their world view helps me see life through their eyes.
I have strategic friendships who are outside the faith. It’s difficult for me to be “salt and light” and only associate with believers. While I pray that they’ll have an life-changing encounter with God, I never minimize the importance of our relationship. These are good friends.
How strategic are you about your friendships? Have you ever gone out of your way to befriend someone?