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"Be A Fountain, Not a Drain"
I heard this quote recently while listening to an Andy Stanley podcast one late night while working away at another project. Andy Stanley is a pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is pretty awesome, extremely wise and someone I enjoy learning from. I know that isn't a quote originally from him, but since I heard it, it has been etched in my memory. It made me stop and reflect on my own friendships and how I interact with people relationally. Yesterday was one of those days that I walked away from hanging out with friends thinking, wow, thank you Jesus for these life giving people.
Maddie and Kristen drove down yesterday to see my apartment, explore Long Beach and catch up. These two remind me of the power of being a fountain. When they left I felt more empowered, full of life and encouraged to take on anything. I truly believe that this is how friendships should be, especially when your friends are actively pursing a relationship with Christ. This is a direct reflection of the fruit that He is producing in their life. These types of friends don't spend time tearing people down, gossiping or bringing any negativity to the table. Instead, they pour into you and others, spread joy and point you towards Christ with their every action. No, this does not mean that they are perfect or have everything figured out, but it does mean that they're seeking guidance. These types of friends are constantly seeking what is lasting and their lives reflect that. Every time I leave interactions with friends like this I don't feel drained or like the life has been sucked out of me. Instead, I feel empowered to be a better person and friend. These are the friends that we should all aspire to be like.
I'm sure we can all pinpoint friends in our lives that leave us feeling exhausted, empty and drained after every interaction. All of us can agree that friendships like that are hard. They're not friendships that you want to be around continuously. Strive to be different. Don't model your friendships after people like that. I've always been told to never compare yourself to the worst person in the room in order to make yourself feel better about what you're doing. Instead look to the person that is doing better and strive to be like them. Figure out why they make you feel empowered and do the same to others around you. Maybe they're a good listener or encourager and that's something that you need to work on. When you are seeking to be more like Christ, you will start to be the person that flows like a fountain to those around you instead of draining the energy out of the room.
So friends, I just want to encourage you to be a fountain NOT a drain. Encourage, empower and uplift people. Leave people better than you found them.
Kristen took all these photos and she did a little blog post of our day together! Here's the link to her blog kristenellingson.com/