My thoughts have been returning often lately to friendship - specifically to real friendship, as in friends with whom you can be real. I am troubled by the degree to which we ("we" being specifically Christians in modern day U.S.A.) are generally not genuine with one another. We put on our happy face and do our best to be seen as "together." I am becoming increasingly convinced that our lack of "realness" is extremely detrimental to the body of Christ, as well as to the world around us. How are we to "confess (our) sins to one another and pray for one another, that (we) may be healed" (James 5.16) if we constantly keep on our masks?
The last few years have brought a blessing to my life that is rare treasure. God has given me a bosom friend (as Anne would say), and a friendship in which there is a deep mutual realness. It is unspeakably encouraging to me, as I seek to laid hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus, to know that my dear friend is struggling along beside me. The depth to which we can be spiritually naked with each other helps us both to keep seeking after our Saviour. We don't have it perfected yet... but that's okay, because we both know that we're still "in process" that that He Who promised is faithful.
I'm so thankful for the friendships the Lord has given me. I am blessed to have a wonderful circle of friends who love and pray for me. I am seeking to be more genuine with those in my life. But I'm going to be genuine with you and say that it is stinking hard sometimes. How many people really want to hear that I yell at my children, have forgiveness issues, have self-destructive tendencies, struggle with disturbing sin, doubt my Saviour's love, and more? And I'm not proposing that we blurt out our deepest and darkest struggles to everyone we meet. But my goal is to wear my "got-it-all-together" mask less often... to be genuine... to be approachable... to be a real friend.