Friendship Advent Reflection, December 3

Today is my final day talking about friendship in Plato. Towards the end of the Lysis dialogue, Socrates comes up with his final definition of friendship, "that which is neither good nor bad is friends with the good." He arrives at this definition through logic. It is clear that those who are bad cannot be friends with one another. There is no honor or loyalty among thieves, as we say. Those who are truly good, according to his logic, are already self-sufficient, and have no need of friends or friendship. So the truly good folks don't really need friends. The ones who need friendship are therefore neither bad, nor entirely good. As a teacher, I really like this concept. Those who are forming their identities, forming their sense of self, and their characters, are the ones who seek out mentoring. So in a way, mentoring activity can be described as a kind of friendship. As we move towards advent, who do you think could benefit from your friendship, from your mentoring presence? Who have you sought out for growth and mentoring? What mentors would you consider now to be your friends? When have you been available to a friend in need, or sought out friends, when you just needed to talk through something? My wish for you, during this Advent season, that you remember your mentors and friends, maybe send them a quick text or Facebook message, thanking them, or encouraging them in their growth.


Each day of advent, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25, I plan to post a few thoughts on an aspect of friendship I learned while writing my book, Virtuous Friendship: The New Testament, Greco-Roman Friendship Language, and Contemporary Community. This will be a chance for me to share with you all a little bit from what I learned, while giving you, hopefully, a chance to take a deep breath during this busy season and do some reflection. Also, you won't have to secure another resource for Advent. I realize that you are all at many different places with regard to faith and belief, so use these reflections however you see fit. If you'd be interested in having me come speak at your church, lead a Bible Study, or even just Zoom or Skype in for a Q&A with a Sunday School class or other small group, let me know: doug.hume@pfeiffer.edu.

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