Friday, April 25, 2008

The High Calling of Being a Friend

I'm on to another TPA this week from this past Sunday's sermon. It was all about "how to be a good friend". It was really challenging. The scripture that we studied was Philemon 8-14. To conclude, and not tell you about the ENTIRE sermon, as I would be tempted to do, our pastor drew 7 ways from the passage to be a good friend:

1. Be Gentle

2. Be Vulnerable

3. Be Tactful.

4. Be Sympathetic

5. Be Honest

6. Be Open

7. Be Deferential

From these 7, we were asked to focus on only one. However, I picked 2. Being open & vulnerable. I am good with being open and vulnerable with some people, but there are other people that I purposely like to stay closed off from. I think that there is a healthy balance in that, and that I shouldn't just tell EVERYONE how I fell ALL the time, but when people are getting a different picture of me than who I really am, it doesn't sit well. And knowing that I caused that image to be portrayed doesn't sit well either. I am very passionate about having meaningful and real friendships, and this passage of scripture made me realize that I am doing some things to prevent those from happening, or hurting the one's that I already have by not doing those things.

Ok,... here is me getting vulnerable... I am scared to put off a negative image of myself and look stupid or incompetent. I do things to purposely prevent that from happening. I have a fear of being rejected, especially from my peers. Jesus is definitely working with me on this though. He is really teaching me about who I am in Him, and being comfortable with failing, and comfortable with being not good enough, and comfortable with not being as smart as the next person. I am really good at just blending in with whatever social setting I'm in, that I think that sometimes I loose or choose to surrender what I have to bring to the table for the sake of being rejected. I want to be who God made me to be ALL the time. Not just with certain people, or in certain settings.

So, the way to do that is to cling onto Christ's strength in me, and choose to be me ALL THE TIME. And the practical way to do that is to be Open & Vulnerable. This week I am actually going to write one letter to a person who has never really gotten to know the real me. And I think that our friendship never even got the chance to be one because of it. And let me tell you, that is SO hard for me to do. So, wish me luck.

That's all for today.

1 comment:

thekirnancrib said...

wow. thanks for sharing. I am definitely experiencing the SAME struggle right now. what an encouragement to me you are!