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Caution

Amazing blog post, by an amazing friend of mine Alex Sherman, check out her blog here

Caution…

If you are like me, you have experienced the sting of rejection at least once in your relationships. Maybe it was from a member of the opposite sex in a dating pursuit. Or maybe you’ve felt rejection from a member of the same sex in the form of a friendship. It may seem surprising to think that rejection occurs outside of dating relationships, but it occurs far more often in friendships than we may realize.

The sting of outright rejection, or the slow pain of a dissolving friendship can be extremely painful. Recently, I have been doing some reflection and I have come to realize that some of my past “best-friendships” have ended in a similar manner to a modern dating relationship “break-up.”

Similar pain. Similar rejection. And similarly unhealthy boundaries that were not established to guard my heart if the relationship were to end abruptly.

Therein lies the problem. Unhealthy view of what a friendship should look like, or “feel” like.

The typical BFF is described as someone who is completely loyal to you, who brings you fulfillment and belonging, and is committed to you “forever.” The problem is that, though the world portrays this relationship as ideal, it is not truly what healthy friendships are meant to be.

I have struggled with this in many of my friendships. As a shy person, I tend to feel more confident and outgoing when I have my best friend by my side in social settings. I am more sure of my identity and my courage is found in the presence of another human being who accepts me and makes me feel complete.

Now friendships are not evil, don’t hear me say that. It is in friendships that have unrealistic expectations that can become a source of idolatry. And this is my reality.

Whenever I have lost friendships in the past, I have truly lost my identity and found myself amidst an identity crisis. In these crises of my life, it honestly felt like a dating relationship “break-up,” complete with tears and leading to myself questioning everything. I had never realized why this pattern of heartbreak was so devastating, until I discovered I was defining my self-worth and value in another human being.

This can absolutely happen in the marital relationship as well. When we seek anything more than fellowship alongside believers who work together to advance God’s Kingdom, we are holding them (friend or spouse) to an impossible standard.

Human beings can never fully provide soul satisfaction, life fulfillment, or an impenetrable feeling of acceptance and belonging. Only One person can provide that for us. And that Person is Jesus Christ.

Do not allow yourself to feel less valuable because you do not have a earthly “person” who provides complete fulfillment for you. If you are married your husband cannot be your “God.” If you are single, you do not have to frantically search for a husband to unhealthily provide that missing sense of belonging you may have. God can, and should be your complete fulfillment in this life. You don’t have to look any further than the cross of Calvary in which He gave His life for you. He alone can satisfy your thirsty soul!

And if you are currently lacking a “FRIENDS” worthy BFF, know that your identity can be secure if you tether it in the right place- Jesus. And let me assure you, you are not unlovable, unworthy, or broken if you do not have a BFF like the world promises will provide you a sense of acceptance and belonging. You belong to Jesus and only He can truly satisfy that need that is inside of you, and inside of all of us.

Do some reflecting this week. Have you been finding your sense of self-worth, identity, or security in anything or anyone other than Jesus? Take some steps to maintain a healthy view of relationships and try not to hold impossibly high standards for the “humans” in your life (spouse, friend, family member). Only God can truly bring you soul satisfaction in this life. And He desperately wants to bring you the joy, peace, security, and confidence that can be found in being fully known and fully loved by a God who unconditionally loves you and will never fail or forsake you. Seek Him! You won’t regret it.

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