Every Christian Need A Friend With Benefits
The axiom Friends with Benefits has been grossly perverted. It is often described as a lover with no emotional attachments. This short article will seek to reclaim its meaning in the proper context, by revealing its purest meaning. A Friend with Benefits is the quintessential friend who is closer than a sibling. The type of friend who is loyal, trustworthy, and always has one’s wellbeing or at places the others interest above his or her own. For the sake of this discourse, wingman will be the working definition of friend with benefit. All of us need friends with benefits because they provide mutual love and respect. Friends with benefits provide a safe and challenging environment vital to experiencing success in the various areas of our lives. A Friend with Benefitshas always been a necessary relationship to have in catapulting the individual to greater success. Therefore, reclaiming its meaning within our twenty first century is essential.
Exodus 17 in introduces the ultimate "Friend w/ Benefits", Moses and Aaron. Aaron was Moses brother who became his ardent friend with benefits. He came alongside Moses to complement his challenges. He became the voice of Moses because he (Moses) had a speech impediment he could not overcome. Aaron provided counsel for Moses as he faced the ominous challenges associated with the leadership of possibly over a million people. He was consistently at his side as the intermediary between Moses and the people. The invaluable relationship between the friends with benefits, particularly Moses and Aaron is made evident in Exodus 17:8-16. The short story highlights several lessons for everyone, namely leaders. When times become difficult, as they most definitely will, a wingman is more valuable than gold. Moses understood the value of a friend with benefits. The reprisal of this role within our present day context will be an encouragement to invest in a reciprocal friend with benefits relationship. Unlike the amoral definition wherein it seeks to use another for personal pleasure, the authentic friend with benefits aids in overcoming the dark side and provides a professional partner to journey with. This relationship has long lasting and sustainable benefits for a lifetime.
In Exodus 17 the Israelites engaged a battle with the Amalekites. At this point they are on their meandering journey to the Promise Land. In our lives the proverbial Promise Land is considered the place self-actualization where your goals and dreams are realized. On the way to the promise land Moses, the leader of the Israelites, was faced with a shortcoming much like us on this earthly plain. The Israelites faced a battle that would eventually strengthened their resolve to move forward. The Amalekites came upon the Israelites, which imposed a new set of pressures on Moses’s leadership. They are similar to the ones we face today. Our lives consist of intermittent seasons of wars and obstacles. If we do not overcome them with the aid of our friend with benefits reaching our desired promise land, will be severely compromised. Each of us has different wars that we must endeavor to overcome on the way to the promise land.
Moses drew up the battle plan and instructed and encouraged the warriors of their imminent victory. Although the victory was assured their success was dependent on his ability to lead. Moses’s insight and intuition led him to stand on a mountain and raise the staff of God in his hand, providing the Israelites with the power needed to win the war. Moses and his friends with benefits, Aaron and Hur, stood atop the hill. The Hill is that place God takes us to fight the battles of and for our lives. Moses understood the value of having others by his side when fighting the wars in his life. He understood that human beings are not built to do life in isolation. The victories we enjoy, are sweeter and more sustainable with our friends with benefits. On the mountain, Moses discovered when he had the support of Aaron and Hur Israel prevailed. Conversely, whenever the support of his most trusted friends waned Amalekites prevailed. In the duration of the fight of life Moses he grew weary. Becoming weak and losing the ability to support and encourage each other through the fight will lead to our defeat. Success is therefore not an individualist ascent it is the collective pursuit.
The value of a wingman cannot be overstated particularly when we experience times of weariness. Our weariness is usually a symptom of depression, burnout, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, the feeling of being stuck, determination, despair, deceit (self-deceit), denial, deification, doing too much for the wrong reasons, and doubt. Weariness typically appears in those times where we feel like giving up. Aaron gave Moses a stone to sit on and held up his hands with the help of Hur. Aaron made sure his hands were steady through the war, eventually bringing the Israelites victory. Moses became weary, but had a wingman that held his hand and give him a stone to sit to aid him in experiencing victory. There is a Moses in every one of us that needs an Aaron in those moments of weariness. Everyone needs a friend with benefits. We can’t attempt to live life alone, but must have others in our corner to help us be who God has destined us to be. For some it may be a wife for others it may be a business partner, but we all need to identify that individual and cultivate that relationship. So what is the added value of a wingman, AKA “Friend w. Benefits?”
Everybody needs a wingman in life to stand by his or her side on the Hill. (On the hill is where things get tough and we grow weary.) Some grow weary from climbing the hill before getting to the top, while others grow weary while doing the work required on the hill top. No matter where we are on the hill, a friend is our source of encouragement and help. I know I stated it earlier, but we are not made to be lone rangers. In my career I come across many people who attempt to reach the promise land without the help of others. It’s not smart and it’s definitely not practical. A wingman is usually that friend that is there through the bad and the good. They get you out of trouble when you are in a bind and always have your back no matter how insurmountable your problem may seem. Don’t forsake the value of a wingman and best friend. Who is your wingman? If you don’t have one find one! I highly recommend having two, one in your personal life and another in the business realm. It’s usually not good to mix your personal life with your business, but that I will cover in another blog.
Your wingman is a valuable resource. Your wingman will provide you with the tools and the resources needed to get you through the hardships you face on your way to the promise land. In the case of Moses, Aaron provided Moses with a rock to sit and provided relief to his arms. We all get tired or need resources to help us get to the next level at one point or another in our journey tot he promise land. Many times, the wingman has the ability to identify our needs before we see them for ourselves. Exodus never states that Moses asked for a stone to sit upon or relief for his hands, but Aaron anticipates his needs in his time of difficulty. The wingman saw the problem and provided a resolution that would help Moses move to the next level. What would have happened if Aaron was not there? I am confident that the story would have ended in defeat and not victory.
No One Can Lead Alone. Every team has a leader. Behind every leader there is a committed team. Aaron was committed to the purpose and vision that Moses had set fourth for the people of Israel. Your wingman will always adapt to your vision and purpose, ultimately making it their own. No man can be a successful without building authentic relationships with others. Aaron helped Moses lead throughout Exodus. The war against the Amaleks was one of the many times that Aaron assisted Moses in fulfilling his purpose. Great leaders, not only rely solely on themselves, but understand that there is added value in building relationships with others. In the case of Moses it was Aaron.
A Wingman Always has your Back. You never know when you will need a wingman (Friend). They are there when times get tough. They are there when the world is against you. They are there when you have your back against the wall. They are there to celebrate your victories. We must not forsake the value of a wingman because we never know when we will need a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, feet to walk when we can’t, and hands to carry us to victory. They intervene when we need it most, making our burden light.
God Ultimately Leads Us to Victory. God is our primary source of power when overcoming the hardships and obstacles we face in reaching our promise land. In the story above the power to defeat the Amaleks did not come from the wingman or Moses abilities, but directly from God. The staff in Moses hand represented the presence and power of God in defeating the Israelites. Moses was in full reliance of God, not the wingman. The wingman supported Moses while he placed his faith in God alone. When God is in it you will always experience success, no matter how things may seem in our times of difficulty. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. HAVE FAITH.
"Some have lamented that leadership is lonely. The unique pressure and responsibilities that leaders face can push some leaders to isolation. But wise leaders reject the temptation to remove themselves from others. Great leaders know they need others for both encouragement and wisdom."