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Trader vs Friendship

Are you a friend or a trader? This is a personal question that I ask that we all may evaluate how we operate in a relationship with the people we call friends. I ask, are you a trader because what has been revealed to me as of late about friendship is the understanding that friendship is not based on reciprocity. True friendship is not based on you do for me, and I’ll do for you. Let’s say you are there for a friend in a time of need, and then in your time of need, they are nowhere to be found. Is that person, your friend? My answer to this question just a few weeks ago would have been no. How could they be my friend and they didn’t even show up when I needed them to.

A Different Understanding

What I understood about friendship says that when a friend needs you, you show up period. But I want to share what I’ve learned that was contrary to my information and understanding. Here is what I now understand, true friendship is not based on or in reciprocity… here’s another revelation…Friendship also means there will be times where I’ll be a better friend to you than you were/are to me. (I know these are two tough pills to swallow)
I have learned that in a lot of instances, we have behaved more like traders (where the exchange is the basis) than friends. You se

No Expectation is Necessary

I have learned that in a lot of instances, we have behaved more like traders (where the exchange is the basis) than friends. You see when I have an expectation of receiving something because I have done something for you. I have taken on the attitude of a trader. This trading involves gestures of friendship, and the position is I will do for you what you do for me. This is not a friendship; it’s a trade. I will be there for you since you were there for me. But should a time arise when you don’t fulfill your side of the unspoken agreement? We are no longer friends, and our friendship in its totality is called into question.

What is friendship?

Here’s what I learned, real friendship is a singular personal activity that involves another person or persons whom you care for and respect. Real intimacy is more profound than this for that arrangement or experience. True friendship will put the expectation of reciprocity to death.
Here’s the challenge… Never let the limitations of another person’s friendship affect your boundaries of friendship. Why? Hear me clearly on this… We can only operate in our level of understanding and revelation we have at that moment in time. Please know that our level of knowledge is the maximum potential of the application. We can’t apply what we don’t know, and we can’t effectively use what we know until we understand it. No matter who it is, they can only operate at the level of what that they know and understand.


There is proof in the gospel, according to John. (John 15:13) When Jesus says, “this, he certainly means that it’s a great love for a man to lay down his life. In this context, life is made up of heart, mind, and soul. The issue of our heart we lay down for a friend, the thoughts that we have we lay them down for a friend, and it is thru this that great agape love is expressed. This is the most authentic expression of friendship. Jesus was a better friend to the disciples than they were to him. Sometimes, it takes our true friend to leave for us to understand.


Motivation One Moment at A Time


E.N.Howie is a native Washingtonian who has been fortunate to experience some life-altering circumstances that have given him a different way to look at challenges. In some circles, he would be described as an eternal optimist. He believes there is a bright side to even the darkest of experiences if you will search for the light. He is a husband, mentor, community-centered individual and a sharer of inspiration.