Friday, June 19, 2015

Reflections #1: Friends

I've always have had a hard time making friends. No matter what, I've always seemed to find it hard to connect with people. When I try to put myself out there to make friends, I seem to do one of two things: put on a false impression of myself, or be too much of my real self that intimidate people. For instance with the latter scenario, just this week a girl that sits beside me in one of my classes mentioned in passing (supposedly a joke) that everyday she feels like I'm judging her. 


There is a delicate balance between making a good impression and being your true self, but ultimately I've found that staying true to one's self and beliefs are most important. You want to make a good and lasting impression on others; however, in some of my interactions, especially those around people that I meet in places such as a church setting, are more lighthearted, genuine and I express more of my personality and what my values are. 


The problem with this is that sometimes people can take one's kindness for weakness. For instance, in recent outings with a particular friend of mine, I felt my spirit being crushed every we encountered each other. The friendship got to the point where it became very toxic to the point where we had to go our separate ways. Initially, I was hurt by the whole situation, given the fact that I had known this person for a very long time. No one wants to be hurt, especially by someone one knows and trusts and has become close with and done ministry with. So, in my mind, I felt I had every right to put up my guard again to anyone around me, anyone willing to take a chance and become friends with me. But did I really have that right? Really, did I have the right to determine who entered and exited my life, with or without any regard to their emotions or, most importantly, what God was doing in my circumstances at that point in time? 


In the last posting I made, I listed four problems with giving up and throwing in the towel. The last one, which I feel is one of the most important one for me, was that by throwing in the towel, we're unable to see the goodness of God through Him working through our circumstances. In this situation, this ringed more than true for me. Although I may have dearly wanted to hold on to this friendship, I also must always consider what God ultimately wanted for the next phase of our lives after I graduated from college. Now, I'm not here saying that all friendships that end, whether happily or bitterly, means that you'll never see or speak to the person again, but sometimes, just maybe sometimes, God allows a shake-up in our tight friendship circles - not necessarily because of anything wrong - but to ultimately give Him glory and advance the spread of The Gospel. 

With this particular friend, we were both heading in different directions - figuratively and literally - within the coming weeks, but because our friendship circle was so tight-knit and centered on our relationships with God and sharing the Gospel, I believe that we began to limit our reach when actually we could have done even more by gaining new partners to further share the Gospel. Although, in the heat of the moment, things did appear quite bad, but ultimately during this time God will allow us to meet the right people for the next phases of our lives to further spread His message and advance His kingdom.

You may be going through a "shake up" yourself. Allow God to work through this time to guide you and lead you to the right people. Remember, it's all about the Gospel.


SDG