We all fail our friends. We say things we don’t mean. We are habitually inconsiderate and rude, easily offended and hurt. We withdraw and give up when we should pursue and work through a problem. But this doesn’t mean we are bad people. It means we are imperfectly human.
My heart always carries a deep craving that those I injure will try to understand and forgive my inadequacy. But I know this is easier said than done. Last week’s blog said we need to give each other space to fail and grace to grow. When I read these phrases, I want space to fail and grace to grow, but I also know they are hard ideals to dispense when I’ve been hurt or disappointed by a friend. Here’s the irony: people will not naturally believe the best about us if we’re not believing the best about them. The greater you give, the deeper you receive.
Human nature expects something to be given if it’s going to give back. This is our natural way of protecting our emotions (in abusive or an unhealthy relationships this is a wise reaction), but a deep friendship cannot develop until our hearts shift from an attitude of guarding to giving away bit by bit.
I grew up guarded because of my abusive step-dad. He taught me to believe when people are nice they want something. So, naturally I did not open up easily. People accused me of being stuck up and snobby, but if they could have seen inside my heart they would have known my withdrawal originated in insecurity not arrogance.
As an adult, I’ve had to learn how to overcome my protective tendencies in order to believe the best. I don't naturally expect someone to enjoy sharing my space or to want to do life with me. Imagine that!! We all have a choice. We can remain guarded, believing the worst (remaining alone and insecure), or we can give ourselves away, bit by bit.
Hold that Thought and Make it Real:
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12b says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up…a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Friendships may not be easy, but God gave us sisters and brothers to help us live out our dreams, to pick us up and give us strength. If this is what God wants me to receive in a friendship, I should also be eager to help my friends reach their goals, pick them up when they are down, and strengthen them when they are weak.
Are you guarding yourself from others or giving yourself to them?
That was Sweet, what should I Tweet?
- @sharieking99 " Are you guarding yourself from others or giving yourself to them?"
- @sharieking99 "Deep friendship cannot develop until our hearts shift from an attitude of guarding to giving.”
@sharieking99 "Our friends won't believe the best about us if we don't believe the best about them.”
© 2015 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.