My Plight with Friendships and Relationships

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

How many people have asked to be a friend in your life and then, once you commit to being a friend, you never hear from them again? I find that this is a two way street in my own relationships.

Over the last year, I have had some folks ask to be connected with me and be my friend, to which I gleefully accepted – only to never hear from them again. After wishing one guy a happy birthday a month or two ago, he responded to me by asking, “where do we know each other from?”, when he was the one that reached out to me just a few months earlier from a Christian group (LOL, true story). But that’s ok. Simultaneously, in life, we invest time and effort into certain friendships, only to not have that investment returned back. It sucks when that happens but it is also an area that we recognize we just need to let it go and move on.

And then, there are friends who only exist on a “friend list”. They never acknowledge something great happening in your life nor do they reach out with “anything at all” when your life experiences a dramatic turn of events. In this case, my background and experience usually tells me that I am the one that messed that one up. My thought life is flooded with “Somehow, someway, somewhere, I screwed up”. Man that is an uncomfortable feeling, particularly when you have no idea what you did, if anything. I have a niece that has coined this as the “rejection” and “guilt” clause. Love those terms.

However, and even more sadly so, I have reached out to others to become friends and, while I do know who they are unlike my “friend” mentioned above, I have not done anything to foster that relationship, to make it grow, to develop it. I never respond or acknowledge anything, neither via social media, phone call, nor in person. It makes me feel horrible to think that that is me. If you are one of those that I have neglected, then please forgive me.

As humans, as God’s children, we are created to be sociable and relational and, for me anyway, if I feel that I have failed in that regard – it can tear me up. Why? Because of my past. I held to a certain character and conduct ten years ago and earlier that still hold a subtle part of my programming. I simply “did not care”. If I was on a mission and you were in my way, I would shove you out of the way and not bat an eye. Collateral damage, yep, that was me.

If I sense that my old self has surfaced, after working so long and so hard with the Father to make those corrections in my heart, I will experience a deep conviction. That I have somehow let the Lord down. But, this is good news. Why? Because that old self is coming to the surface and identifying itself so that it can be scraped away. Sometimes, I have to scrape it away a dozen times before I finally get it.

Iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17). Never perfect, but always being perfected (Phil 1:6). This is God’s way and His desire for me, and you.