It is an excuse.
Is it real? Yes.
Does it justify my hesitancy to trust others and, ultimately the Lord, with relationships?
I'd like to say yes, but...no.
I got thru the first week of Girl Talk: Getting Past the Chit Chat with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
OK, not really. But it definitely wasn't pleasant.
Jen talked about unity and community in the body of Christ, and I realized something: I'm selfish.
I was honestly just really annoyed with myself.
Though it was little comfort at the time I was reading it, the disciples were super selfish too.
In Matthew 18 they asked Jesus "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Then in Mark 9, on their way to Capernaum, they argued with each other about which of them was the greatest (v. 34). I suppose I'm in good company, or at the very least not alone in this battle. I've never considered that my hesitancy in friendship may be rooted in selfishness, but get this:
Selfishness is our natural drift. The first woman to walk this planet had the same urge for self-preservation and self-advancement. If we don't look out for number one, others will take advantage of us. We'll get left behind. Stepped on. Passed over. Used up. Left too vulnerable. Hurt. But if we can be the greatest in our relationships, there is no risk.*
Is this really what it boils down to?
Is my insecurity and fear just pretense for selfishness?
The disciples wanted to know who was the greatest because at their core they wanted to be liked. Accepted. The favorite. The best. The greatest.
This same hangup hinders authentic friendship because so many times we're more concerned about being liked than being real.
Oh, but there's more....
Being the greatest has some traveling companions: jealousy, insecurity, bitterness, pride, bare-naked fear. These keep us posturing and pretending, and they lock us down in isolation.*
Get out of my head, Jen Hatmaker.
These are all real struggles for me.
This was my prayer this week, straight from my journal:
Lord, thank you for bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth. Give me a heart after you. Give me a heart for others. Help me get over my fear of being hurt, my fear of failure, my fear of not being wanted. Help me get over my insecurity. Help get over myself.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some soul searching to do.
*Quoted from Girl Talk: Getting Past the Chit Chat by Jen Hatmaker