The only things of real value in this life are our relationships. These are the only things we have the potential to take into eternity with us. All else will be left behind! And, the truth is, most people are desperate to have great relationships; yet, so many have been disappointed and wounded early in life that they subconsciously follow destructive models that minimize the possibility of establishing lasting friendships.
Sadly, most relationships are doomed before they ever begin. We go into relationships with an ideal of who that person needs to be in order to meet our needs. When they fail to live up to our expectations we feel let down, disappointed, and even betrayed when, in reality, they have done nothing wrong!
Friendship is a grand experiment of love, acceptance, and openness. Instead of having expectations at the beginning we should be ready to discover the uniqueness and individuality of the other person. If variety is the spice of life, then the one place we should have the most variety is in the individuality of our friends.
The love to which God has called us is to consider people as precious and hold them in high regard. There is nothing more opposed to love than refusing to accept a person as they are. If I need for you to change to be my friend I do not love you, I am rejecting you! To stay in the relationship I must control you to become what I need. I want you to make me feel safe no matter how it makes you feel! We have failed at the highest definition of true spirituality: to love our neighbor as our self!
Our determination to only be friends based on our emotional prerequisites has a subtle, selfish, and destructive motivation. It means we never have the opportunity or need to grow or change. Real spiritual growth doesn’t happen in the prayer closet. Praying is a vital step of growth, but growth only happens in application. Faith without works is dead faith. It’s one thing to pray for others and pray for yourself to grow, but it’s altogether another level of true spirituality to get along with others and be polite and considerate. It’s easy to be “spiritual” in isolation; there is no one there to “rub” or challenge us. The acid test, however, is what happens when we’re involved with others! If we allow others to be who they are we get the best opportunity for personal growth and we fulfill the second greatest commandment in the Bible: Love others as you love yourself!
Wanting all of our friends to fit into a single mold is like only eating one type of food at every meal. Not only is it boring, it will eventually make you sick! Lack of variety deprives us of nutrients that only come from diversity. If variety is the spice of life allowing each friendship to be unique is like sitting down to a feast with a great array of delicious food! The large assortment helps us have a well-rounded life!
In real friendships we learn how to walk with people, discover the best ways to communicate, and allow the relationship to grow into whatever it has the potential to become. We respect and accept them, they respect and accept us, and we learn how to optimize our differences. Ultimately, each relationship will be different and will have various levels of trust and intimacy. They will never be forced! With no expectations or demands they will be natural and as fulfilling as possible.
Share this with everyone you know and help the world become a more loving and friendly place. If you want more information about making friends or want to increase your relationship skills click here.