Ignoring The Friends I Have – And Yet Wishing I Had More
Editor’s Note: Today’s words are by Esha Rajendran. She is a junior in college, tweets at twitter.com/esharajendran, and blogs at recipelesslife.tumblr.com! I am so grateful that she opened her personal journal to share this with us all. – Lauren
I didn’t wake up deciding to be a jerk that day.
I didn’t wake up deciding to look her over completely. To nod my head while she talked to me, while looking out of the corner of my eye to see whom I could talk to next.
I didn’t wake up planning on ignoring her. But it happened.
I have amazing people surrounding me, but I overlook them every day. I overlook the people I’ve just met. I overlook the people I walk by on the way to class. I overlook the people I’m meeting for coffee. I even overlook my best friends.
And while I’m busy overlooking everyone around me, I’m filled with this strange desire to meet more people.
I have really close friends, friends I share my life and deepest dreams with, and yet I find myself wanting more friends. My friends are beautiful, loving, inspiring individuals, but I want to be friends with even more beautiful, loving, inspiring people. I want more.
Slowly, I’ve begun to realize that this constant desire for more stems from a desire to feel better about myself. I can’t count how many times I’ve caught myself saying – “Oh you don’t know her? Oh she’s just the best!” or “You know what, he told me the other day? Yeah he’s like one of my best friends!” As if the fact that I know or am friends with this person makes me a more popular, more important, more confident individual.
But as I’ve begun to understand the reason for my desire for more I realize that I’ve been missing out on something special with the friendships I already have.
I’m not supposed to be a collector. I’m not supposed to have a little shelf to place my friends on and display them to the world.
My friendships aren’t about me. They’re not about helping me meet more people, becoming friends with more people, becoming more popular, or building a bigger support system. I’m supposed to live sacrificially for others. I’m supposed to listen to my friends – really listen. Not just nod my head and agree. I should listen – hear them, hear their pain, empathize with their pain, cry with them. I should hear about the things that make them happy, the things they love, and the people they love. I should laugh with them, share their joys and sorrows with them. I should intentionally pursue and repair the friendships that I’ve let fall apart. I don’t need to have solutions for my friends’ problems. I need to just be there, even when – especially when – they haven’t been there for me. The love of Christ should shine through me. If I cannot show love to my friends, how can I show love to my enemies?
I am meant to live sacrificially in all areas of my life.
Living this way leaves little room for self-doubt or jealousy. It leaves little room for insecurity and fear. Everything I am and everything God has created in me and will do through me is meant to bring glory to Him. How can I compare myself, an unique creation designed by God, to anything or anyone else?
I need to invest in the people around me – my friends, my enemies the popular, the unpopular, the lovely, and the unlovely.
When I try to make more friends to build a greater network or a greater sense of security, I not only neglect the friends and relationships I have, but I also overlook the poor, the hurting, and the needy.
I need to constantly humble myself by remembering who God is. I need to remember that He, the creator of the world, the author of love, the embodiment of perfection, wants to be friends with me – a broken, unlovely, messed up, imperfect human being. He wants to be my friend, and he sacrificed everything to know me.
Our friendship with God is the ultimate standard for our friendships with others. We are meant to sacrifice all for our friends. We are meant to invest in them. We are meant to pursue them when they fail us, and forgive them when they hurt us. We are meant to support them and more than anything, we are meant to love them.
Because, my friendships aren’t about me. They’re about Him.
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