Friendship = Into Me See
Intimacy is allowing others to see what is inside. Scary idea isn’t it? Practicing intimacy with others is all about learning to be transparent. The only way we are going to learn to be transparent ourselves is by practicing acceptance of others.
How do you respond to people who are being transparent? People who are letting it all hang out, with no pretenses or masks? Do you see the negatives and immediately judge them? Do you find yourself secretly wishing that they would put a mask on?
Honestly, I have thought that! Sometimes it is just easier to not see inside of others! But that is just selfishness. That is not the heart of our Father in heaven. He sees inside of all of us and loves us anyways.
Next time someone comes along with no masks on, with their emotions and negative traits hanging out, take time to really check them out. Look them in the eye and consider everything about them that drives you crazy!
Now love them, because God does.
Then go in the bathroom and look yourself in the eye. Don’t start thinking “Well, at least I don’t go around like that!” or “I’m not so bad compared to that.” That will ruin everything. No, look and see the real you. See the you that is most definitely not perfect.
Now love yourself.
It will be a freeing experience for you. You will be on the way to accepting yourself and others.
If you are living behind a mask, I encourage you to take it off! Go to someone you can trust, maybe a Pastor or Christian counselor to start. If you have been wearing a mask for long, you may need to so slow. That’s okay, just don’t move backwards!
I have shared my insecurities with people who in turn used them against me. I have shared my dreams with people and been made fun of. I have reached out in friendship only to be rejected completely. I won’t lie. It hurts. But for every time that I have been hurt, I have a longer list of times that I have been blessed. I have made friends I would never have imagined. I have been amazed to see God use my testimony to give another woman hope.
Intimacy is not for every relationship. You do not have to lay your heart bare for everyone. That isn’t even healthy. Intimacy is different for every relationship. I have a few close relationships. These are women who I can go to with anything without being condemned or judged. I have other friends who I enjoy spending time with because we share interests or values.
But I would not talk to them about intimate subjects. Our friendships just do not go that deep. It doesn’t mean that I value the people any less than my confidants; I just enjoy them on a different level. It’s not important that I am intimate with a lot of people, just that I am experiencing intimacy with some.
Relationships come and go. I look back and see women who have greatly impacted my life. Many of them are not in my life today because of geographical moves. I believe God does this to keep me from leaning too much on others, so that I will lean on Him! Instead of becoming insecure and afraid to invest myself into new friendships, I have come to see them as a gift from God for a season.
You see, our very Best Friend can be Jesus. People make mistakes, but He never does. He never betrays a trust or makes fun. He always listens and gives good advice. He always builds up and never tears down. He invites us into uninhibited intimacy with Him. He knows our heart and He longs for us to know His. It is a relationship that can never be taken from us by distance or death. It is a forever love that will sustain us through everything.
Dear Jesus, I ask You to forgive me, and cleanse my heart of the wrong that I’ve done. I ask You please enable me to live my life without masks. Help me to get to know You as my very Best Friend. Amen