Apparently, I'm not a good one. I had been talking to a friend about my appreciation of Belgian wheat beers and then started talking about the various Piscos, I had enjoyed. He replied that he was cutting back because he found himself drinking each night and it was impacting the family. It felt like the story went a bit deeper and recounting my enjoyment of adult beverages, was not helping him resist temptation.
Friends listen to each other, pick up on subtleties, and come alongside to help where needed. Each one of us has a laundry list of "yes" or "no" things we should embrace or resist. A caring friend will know what is on each of our lists.
A doughnut on National Doughnut Day is one thing, encouraging your dieting friend to restrict their doughnut intake to only those days of the week that end in "day," is not helpful. Someone trying to regain control of their budget is served by a stroll through the park vice the local marketplace.
Confidence to achieve significant efforts is through small day-to-day decisions building on each other. Reinforcing these decisions defines our role as a friend.
Pause and reflect on your closest friendships. What kind of friend are you? Draw the circle a bit bigger; are you consistent in your care for this next group of friends?
Going Further: How do you specifically encourage your friends in their pursuits? How do you help your friends exercise self-control? When did you fail a friend and what did you both learn? Did the friendship survive? What changes do you need to make, to care for your friends honestly? How would these changes benefit your relationships? What question was missed?