The Struggle of Forced Relationships
Do you remember your childhood days when you had multiple best friends? Weekly your BFF had a new name. It was whoever was nicest to you or stood up for you. These relationships were shallow at best. No real depth or intimacy. No commonalities. You just knew they made you laugh. Or maybe they were popular. Or perhaps you only entertained them so you wouldn’t be alone. Whatever the case, these relationships rarely transcend with us into adulthood.
Now that we are adults, can I be brutally honest? I don’t have time to force relationships. I am picky when it comes to those I call friends. I don’t use the word ‘friend’ loosely either. I don’t need someone in my life merely for good laughs. I need someone to tell me the truth when I’m wrong. I need someone who prays for me for real, not just in word. I need friends I can go beyond surface talk with, but share in-depth intimate conversations. The kind of conversation when you feel refreshed afterwards. When no one is watching the time,but enjoying the indulging in soul-satisfying conversation.
The Bible depicts friendship as two people sharpening each other (Proverbs 27:17). This type of harmony guarantees to be a blessing to all involved. At this time in my life, this is exactly the kind of relationships I welcome. I don’t have the energy to entertain relationships that steal my peace. Or that requires too much effort. This is draining! Friendships should begin organically with both parties showing interest to cultivate the relationship. These connections survive busy seasons and can easily start back where they left off. You shouldn’t have to struggle to force relationships to emerge.
Some people you meet and can feel the immediate connection. You can sense this person will be a lifetime friend. Others it is like pulling teeth. Dead silence during phone conversations. One-sided effort. Strained, obligatory time spent to attempt to develop a friendship can begin to feel like a waste of time. Instead, nurture those friendships with those who get you. With those whom you can genuinely be your authentic self with without the need to put on a façade. It’s important to have those you can bleed to when necessary who will listen willingly. Who will share your burdens and be there to lift your spirits. Those who can read through your dishonest “I’m fine” line and can tell by the sound of your voice you need to get out and enjoy dessert or chat over brunch. And those who will celebrate your successes with you. This dark world we live in with so many in competition with each other, it’s rejuvenating to have someone who can sincerely celebrate you.
I hope you are encouraged to give up the struggle of forced relationships that add nothing to your life. That suck the life out of you and often causes more stress than peace. I hope you are also encouraged to enrich those relationships with friends who sharpen you with the word of God, encourage you and have your back through this journey of life. Appreciate those in your life who fulfills this call. Let them know how much they mean to you as a friend. Even Jesus had an inner circle of those who were closest to Him. Not everyone deserves a front row seat in your life. For those who do, give them VIP treatment. Just as a knife is sharpened will shine more, these friendships will cause you to shine individually as well as together. Shine on girlfriends! Shine on!