I know a lot of wonderful people but I don’t have a lot of friends. The people I text with or spend time with regularly are a small and tidy group, and I think that’s normal, but I also think that an introvert can only manage so much…
…what with all the alone time that it takes to function.
It’s so cute that you think I’m kidding – you must be an extrovert 😉 I love you people!
Some of my favorite friends are extroverts – well, an adorable one married me. But if I were to gather all my friends into one space – let’s say, at a party that one of you is having, even though I love you, I may still face a library wall and nurse a diet coke for long stretches of time. I don’t always feel like I belong, even when I do.
Sometimes when I look up and find I’m surrounded by a few phenomenally fantastic friends, I tend to wonder what the heck they’re wasting their time on me for. Or I look across the table over cappuccino and see a stellar human being who has chosen to hang out with me, I decide that it might be sketchy. What if there really is an ulterior motive at play?
Like, what’s wrong with this picture? Clearly she needs something from me, or she sees me as a step to another person, or she’s just bored with her other friends. Or I’m just lucky today.
Last week I wrote May I Appreciate You? about the fun we can have enjoying our friends by telling them how they shine – how that’s a great way to build a bond between you. The flip side of that concept, though, is that insecurity between friends cramps our style. Because we are just human and humans have weaknesses. And they show.
When I stick my insecurities in the middle of our friendship, I just torture us both. Most of us don’t need to be reminded that we are not all that and a bag of chips. But insecurity makes us feel like we never can be, no one should ever mistake us for, and please stop looking at me as if….
When I get caught under the weight of all that garbage, I try to remember our good friend Paul. On top of being profiled, shipwrecked, indicted unjustly, and not getting to have a wife (just to name a few of his woes) – in 2 Corinthians 12, he says that he has not just a mere weakness, but a terminal problem – something he is begging for God to remove.
for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me–to keep me from exalting myself! 2 Corinthinans 12:7b
Sounds charming. An issue that probably came up in all of his close relationships, no doubt. I think sometimes that insecurity is a thorn. A thorn we all get poked by – even extroverts.
What does Paul coach us to do about weaknesses? Well, team?
Oh, right. B o a s t in them.
but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough–always available–regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I love that. God says he takes what will never be right with us this side of paradise, and he renovates it into immaculate strength for his name’s sake. So can I just chill out, take a breath, and be my royally messed-up self with you? While God is getting all that beautiful glory? I think so.
Weaknesses not only make us into what God wants most to show himself as glorious through, they make us mortal and flawed together. Which is a beautiful thing to bond over.
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