Monday, April 30, 2012

Judged... and Found Wanting: Friendships

May the defendant please rise.  We the jury find the defendant... Guilty.

Last week, at the youth group I help lead, we had a discussion about relationships.  Specifically broken ones.  We talked about the role we play in broken relationships, why they are broken, what can we do to fix them and where is God in the midst of those relationships.

As I sat there trying to focus on what other people were saying I found myself reflecting back on those broken relationships in my life.  One word kept popping up in my thoughts... guilty.

My best friend from childhood and I stopped talking a few years after she moved to a new city.  I'm guilty.
My best friends from freshman/sophomore high school cut me off after my sophomore year.  I'm guilty.
My good friends from junior year always left me out.  I'm guilty.
My best friend in college and I had a "break up" on multiple occasions, but permanently a couple years ago.  I'm guilty.
My sort of cousin and I stopped talking a year and a half ago.  I'm guilty.

In all of these friendships, the only common denominator I could find... me.  So I instantly thought it was my fault.  These friendships didn't last because of something I did or didn't do.

I know that in every relationship there are two people.  That the end of a relationship or the strain on a relationship is never solely one person's fault.  But knowing that and believing that, are two VERY different things.

But I see it as my fault.  I must have done something wrong.  I wasn't a good enough friend.  I didn't listen.  Didn't care enough.  Didn't try to stay connected enough.  Didn't _____ or _______ (fill in as you see fit).  But for some reason I feel like my close friendships always end.

Sitting in the candle and lamp light that night I recognized that I often put myself on trial.  That I judge myself (we are often our own worst critics, are we not?).  Often.  And not just in relationships, but in many things that I do.  But that night, when thinking back on relationships, and specifically these friendships...

I was judged, and found wanting.

Remember life is short.  So think about your dreams a little harder.  
Reach a little higher.  Laugh a little louder.  Love a little stronger.  
Because many things in life can wait... The Sunset Won't!

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