Girl drama. Uhgg. We get so upset over the most petty things. Lately I feel as though I’m tip-toeing across a wooden floor, praying the planks don’t give way and expose me with their constant creaking. I’m tense and worried and praying for peace.
A close friend bursts out in jealous accusations and, the truth is, it pains me a great deal. Not because I’m being accused, but because I’m being accused by a friend. It hurts. Where I thought strength prevailed, mistrust set in to destroy. I had hoped I would be defended – that the innocence behind my actions would be recognized. But it was not to be.
I sit and wonder. Don’t they even realize how much I love them? Can’t they see what this friendship means to me? Don’t they know that I would never intentionally hurt them? I find myself growing indignant at this lack of trust. Frustration sets in as I recount the sacrifices that I’ve made to make this friendship what it is and I begin to realize that they’ve gone unnoticed. What a hollow feeling it is to be taken for granted.
And suddenly I want to walk away and forget the whole thing. The indignation is growing. How could they? Don’t I mean anything to them? My mind is made up. I don’t have to put up with this. If they don’t appreciate me then I’ll find someone who does.
Dear Lord, how blind I’ve been.
This isn’t what You’ve taught me – it isn’t what You’ve shown me. I’ve accused You. I’ve mistrusted You. I’ve doubted that You love me. I’ve questioned Your actions and believed that You desired to make me miserable. I’ve taken Your sacrifices for granted and pushed You away in my own selfishness. And yet, here You are.
In all of this, You’ve never left. You’ve stood by my side and defended me. Me. The one who accused You. You see my tears fall and comfort me in my distress. You listen to my troubles and rejoice in my happiness. You provide for my needs and shower me with gifts and blessings. You love me, even when I’m not lovable. You love me perfectly.
And I wonder, how can I say I love anyone if I run away the moment that they doubt me? Is that really love? Because it’s one thing to be friends – friendships fail – but the love that the Bible speaks of endures forever¹.
Burying Faults –
And I can’t deny that my friends don’t always love me perfectly. Their love for me is often crippled by jealousy or weakened by insecurities. But hey! I’m not a saint here either! And you know, if we actually love one another, we’ll look past that.
“Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.” -Henry Ward Beecher
So when life is easy, friendships are smooth, and I smile and tell my girls that I love them, I want to remember that it’s just as true when there are bumps in the road. Why? Because with my selfish, insecure heart, I have given Christ every reason to run out on me, and yet He hasn’t. Because He loves me – He really loves me. And I want to love others in the same way. I need to love others in the same way.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” -1 John 4:11
Imperfect Love –
Still, I have a lot of work to do. I wish to love perfectly, as Christ loves me, but I find that my love is tainted by selfish ambition and jealousy. My own human nature shows through. I continue to strive at overcoming these greedy tendencies and – through the help of God and His word – daily work at loving perfectly.
And in the end, I cannot promise my friends that I will love them perfectly, but I can promise them that I will do my best to strive for that perfection. Hopefully they are willing to see past my mistakes and I pray for a willing heart to always do the same for them.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8
¹1 Corinthians 13:7