Run Like a Deer from the Hunter

Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
    or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
    and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
    You’re in that man’s clutches!
    Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
    there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
    fly like a bird from the trapper!

-       Proverbs 6:1-5

Aside from the idea of a deep-spirited friendship, Kathy and Diana also reminded us to be mindful of the ways in which we sometimes overextend ourselves in friendships. Kathy talked about this in terms of “people pleasing,” which gives everything without concern for what is possible or healthy. They pointed to the fact that, sometimes, the line between generosity and people pleasing is hard to find. But without this boundary, we could actually cause harm to a relationship or to ourselves.

They pointed us to a quotation that summarizes this distinction quite nicely in some ways: “You do not need to light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” Think about the relationships in your life. Where are you being appropriately generous, and where are you just lighting yourself on fire? How might you move toward healthier forms of generosity with those friendships?