The Inconvenience of Friendship


I’ve been thinking about friends and friendship recently. I love being a friend. I love doing for my friends. But I find it difficult to accept it when friends do for me.

There, I’ve said it. I want to help, not be helped. I don’t mind inconveniencing myself, but I am loath to ask someone else to be inconvenienced on my behalf. Yet, for the past year, that’s exactly what I’ve needed to do.

As a recent widow, learning to do tasks I’ve never done before, I need help. Lots of help.

Enter: my friends. My neighbors and church family have come alongside to support me and provide the help I need. I can’t begin to list the people who’ve been inconvenienced—oops, I mean glad to help. Home repairs, mechanical repairs, even climbing ladders to do tree trimming (I have a height phobia!).

And all I had to do was ask. But that meant swallowing my pride and allowing my friends to be the friend I am to them. Some of them have even used my own words: “Don’t deprive me of the blessing to be a blessing!”

So instead of apologizing for their inconvenience, I’m learning to say, “Thank you.”

It’s not easy. But it’s the friendly thing to do.

How have you been helped by a friend this week?

How have you helped out a friend this week?

Ava Pennington

After a 20-year corporate career, Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. Ava has also written for numerous magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. Her work has been published in 30+ anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ava also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. When she’s not writing and teaching, Ava enjoys playing with her mischievous 5-year-old Boxers, Duke & Daisy. For more information, visit

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