A friend from years back showed me a valuable truth this past week . . .
My friend tells me that I’m among her closest friends. For awhile, she’s been texting me saying she wants to talk and catch up (it’s been months since we talked). She says there are few people she will always pick up the phone for, I’m one. However, the phone hasn’t been picked up in a long time. When it comes down to it, she doesn’t make the time to connect – it’s like our friendship is at the bottom of her to-do list – below cleaning the scum off the tub. sigh
We all have the same amount of time. How we spend that time speaks of our priorities. Her actions have been telling me for awhile where our friendship is placed – painfully low. Now if we didn’t talk between visits (she lives in a different state) and both agreed that would be fine. But, it’s saying one thing and doing another that sets me up with false expectations and that is where the disappointment sets in. Expressing how much I mean to her and her desire to talk becomes meaningless when her actions don’t back up her words. It hurts. It feels like she doesn’t care; like our friendship doesn’t really matter.
In addition, in the past couple of years, when we have gotten together, I’m multitasked in with other activities so that she isn’t with me. She has gotten better as I’ve mentioned it to her. She is a bit more engaged during our few hours spent together each year, but her life is one big multitasked distraction-filled conglomeration with our friendship thrown in the pile.
This reflection has been a good reminder for me. We all get busy and distracted, and we can neglect those things that are most important like our relationships. So, how am I treating those I call friend? Those I profess to love? Am I doing and focusing on what is truly most important?
The other day another incident happened where my expectations where let down once again. In the past month, the Holy Spirit has given me good counsel in regards to her and for relationships in general – about expectations, boundaries, balance, but this occurrence bothered me until I wrote this post. God wanted to show me something through it.
The emotion I felt, the hurt, was to give me a peek into God’s heart and share it with you.
Words are meaningless without the action and heart all working in unison. People tell God all the time they love Him, they long to be near to Him, and to be in His presence. But when it comes down to it, they don’t make the time. Other activities and people come first. Our actions and the state of our heart in those actions reveal the truth of what is important to us. For there to be sincerity there has to be an unison of the three; words, action, heart. When we don’t take time to be with Him, or are always distracted or multitasking when we do take time, what does that really say?
Matthew 15:8 These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
God showed me the importance of the connection between our words, actions and heart. It wasn’t to guilt me or anyone else who might read this. He doesn’t guilt His children. Guilt comes from another voice. He was giving me an awareness of our actions and heart and what they reveal, and how they measure up to our words. It was about being real and sincere. It was about what God desires from us, because He loves us. It was about how our relationship with Him is to be as well as our relationship with others.
God desires that we spend time with Him; delight in just being with Him. That’s what you do when you love someone. You want to be near them. It isn’t just when you need something. God desires us to draw near because He is our God, our Friend, our Love.
How am I acting toward God, who calls me His friend, His bride? What is my heart when I’m with Him? What do my actions reveal? Do my words, actions and heart line up? Asking these questions can be very revealing about the true state of our relationship with God.
If you feel these three aren’t adding up, don’t fret, act. God loves you. He longs to be near you. Be real with Him, draw near to Him in truth and spirit. Give your love for Him a chance to grow and develop. Be real about it. If you don’t deeply feel a love for Him, be honest, He knows it anyway. Ask for it. Truth is the starting place to true growth.
Consider how much He loves you and how He wants to make His home in you John 14:23 Draw near to Him in truth. Get to know Him as He is and love will follow until He becomes your first love. Then carry this same awareness to others’ in your life and love them with all sincerity, with a unity of words, actions and heart. But focus on God first. When there is a solid relationship with Him, the rest of your relationships bloom as they should. He comes first.
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”