The Friend Killer.

4:18 PM



Today, let's talk about something that everyone, everywhere, at some point in their lives, deals with.

Friendship.

   Specifically, being a friend, having friends, keeping friends, losing friends, and nurturing friendships.  You've all seen this saying floating all over Pinterest,  "Comparison is the thief of joy".  Well that is all good and true but I want to make one that says "Comparison is the serial killer of friendships."  

   Not quite the same ring to it?  Whatevs.  The point remains.  Comparison, jealousy, and insecurity murder friendships.  Annihilate them.

   I can trace back a large amount of the rifts and tears and bumps and bruises in my friendships to insecurity.  Either mine, or theirs, or both of ours.  I can think specifically of one friendship right now that has grown distant and cold, largely due to my own insecurity.  I just never feel good enough around her.  Like I could never compare, or measure up.  And so that insecurity builds a wall between us, brick by brick right in front of my eyes, and it makes me so sad, but I feel helpless to change it.

  I can think of another friendship that has never really managed to get off the ground much at all, once again due to my own pile of insecurities.  She is the epitome of feminine grace, sweet disposition, and nurturing gentleness.  And I just feel so....opposite whenever I'm around her.  I feel loud and clunky and opinionated and wild and boisterous and just.....too much.  And so my own insecurity stifles what could be a great friendship between two very different personalities.

   I KNOW what you're thinking.  Shelley?  The extrovert? The outgoing one who quickly makes new friends?  How could she be insecure in friendships? But if I've said it once I've said it a 1,000 times....we deal with insecurity just as much as anyone else.  Maybe even more.  We just know how to hide it better.

   But before I get too far here, I think you need to drop everything and head on over here and check out this video on Friendship, by the Girls with Glasses.  And let it just marinate with you for a minute that if these women (who are completely amazing and creative and warm and friendly and incredible) can struggle with finding a healthy balance in their friendships, then you my friend, are certainly not alone.

I love all of their points:

1. Don't Gossip.
2. Be Helpful.
3. Don't Judge.
4. Forgive.
5. Rejoice with those who rejoice.

   And I also really loved what Brooke said in the beginning about not only trying to make good friends, but learning how to be a good friend.   Because I think sometimes we're all a little bit too concerned about everyone else needing to be a good friend to us, without stopping to think about how we could be a good friend to them.  It takes time, work, energy and effort, and it doesn't come easily.  Sometimes it is giving when you'd rather receive.  Sometimes it is listening when you'd rather unload.  But if you want to have good friends you need to be a good friend.  It really is as simple as that.

    Oh, and the rejoicing with those who rejoice?!  I cannot emphasize that enough!  Boy howdy is it hard to be happy for that girl who gets the promotion, the new house, the husband, the baby, the fancy car, the vacation, the National bestseller, the fur coat, whatever.  It's hard.  Duh, we all know that.

  But you still need to do it!  And this is not just another Pinterest cliche, or something the Girls with Glasses thought up.  It's in the Bible.  God thought of it first.  We need to rejoice with those who rejoice.  Be happy for others when something good comes their way.  Don't be jealous, don't begrudge them, don't feel sorry for yourself.  Just rejoice with them!  And then one day maybe others will do the same for you.

   But coming back around to my original point, I wish they would have elaborated more on comparison in friendship.  (Which they didn't, probably because they have a whole other video about comparison!  Check it out!!! I'll save my thoughts on that for another entire post:)

   And I wish I could say I've discovered some mystical elixir or magic bullet that has eliminated all of its ugly root systems from my life, but unfortunately, insecurity remains.  It rears its ugly head at the most inopportune moments, sometimes causing me to act in a way I very much regret later or make words come spilling out that leave me frantically grabbing at the air trying to stuff them all back in.  But the fact unfortunately remains, it is fatal to friendships.

  So what to do?  Well, other than the points already listed and mentioned, I would say the biggest, most profound, and yet unconsidered vaccination against comparison, is finding your security and your identity in Jesus Christ.  I even had a friend recently tell me that when she is having her quiet time with God consistently, these other friendship struggles seem to become just a little bit smaller.

And it just makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

   That when we are trying to find security in our own accomplishments, or in other people's opinions of us, or in something else of our flesh, we will be left disappointed and disillusioned and defeated every time.  Because we don't have what it takes, in and of ourselves.  We aren't perfect.  We are flawed.  But when we are finding our identity in Christ, we are able to then love ourselves and love others.

   And obviously it's SUPER difficult to be a good friend when you don't even feel like a very good person.  And that's precisely what insecurity does.  It's conceived in comparison, matured in jealousy, and produces insecurity.  And then it begins to spread its roots and poison farther and farther into all of our relationships and friendships until we're not even sure we like ourselves anymore.

BUT.....(thank goodness there's a 'but')

Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.  

   We are made in His image.  In Him, we live and move and have our being.  We were not a mistake.  Our days are written in His book.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He is the complete expression of love, and it is His desire to lavish love on us. His plan for our future has always been filled with hope.  His thoughts of us are countless as the sand on the seashore and He rejoices over us with singing.  If we seek Him, we WILL find Him.  

And He is able to do more than we could possibly imagine.  



 

 

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4 comments

  1. So, so me! I struggle so much with this and then just drop the ball all the time on my friends, and hate it, hate it later. I'm thankful for HIM and forgiveness!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Friendship is a great topic to blog about! I've always felt a longing for true friends, wanted them, needed them. God has answered that desire and I have such wonderful friends...it's so important to nurture relationships....some friends are forever some friends are in our lives for a season, ALL are a blessing!

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  3. Wow, great post, so true! I feel like this topic is almost NEVER written about, yet who doesn't have friend problems? It's like it's taboo or something.. loved this!

    Even if there's no magic pill, just talking about it makes it feel better!

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