My church has just completed a three week series on relationships and friendships. My pastor, Mike, has done an amazing job with leaving us challenged and pondering the depths of our relationships every week. The overlying theme of the series is simple, yet all-encompassing. “In order to have a friend, be a friend.” Simple, yes. Something we’ve probably all heard in Kindergarten. But it is this “elementary” guideline that my church has used as a sounding board for the past three weeks. We have looked at what it means to be a friend in Christ, how to love others like yourself, and the way that Jesus was a friend like no other. But yesterday, as Mike was closing the sermon, he made a statement that struck me as profound. He said
“Oversensitive people rarely hear the truth.”
Wow. In my head I’m thinking “Crap!” You see, I’m pretty sensitive. Is it bad to be sensitive? Surely God would not have given me this heart had He no reason. And the more I explored this idea, the more I found the truth in what Mike said. No, it is not bad to be sensitive. God gives some of us sensitive hearts for a reason. And Mike did not say, “Sensitive people rarely hear the truth.” No, he said “Oversensitive people rarely hear the truth.” And that is the line I have to draw. I know people like this. People with whom I rarely speak the truth. People that I am so afraid of upsetting that I just tell them what they want to hear and do whatever they want me to do. And then I wonder, “Have I ever been that person?” I hope not but the answer is possibly a yes. It’s this oversensitive nature that drives us to seek the approval of others. This nature that causes us to run home crying if someone doesn’t like us or a decision we've made. It’s also the controlling nature that causes us to want to control others’ decisions and how they treat us. But is that a relationship? Is that true, and raw, and real? And who really cares what others think about my decisions? Aren’t I sound in my faith and strong enough in my conviction to know that I answer to no one other than God? And do I really want others to tell me “what I want to hear” because it’s easy and they don’t want to upset me? It is these questions that have been running through my head like little monkeys all day and all night. And the answer is simple. I want the truth – from everyone. And I want to give the truth – to everyone. I am thankful that I do not have to try and please everyone in my life. I am thankful for the real and honest relationships I do have in my life. I am thankful for my mom telling me I’m wrong when I’m wrong, and for my husband praying for me when he’s worried about me instead of trying to correct me. I'm thankful for the honest conversations I have daily with my best friends and the truth in their advice and support is unwavering. It’s these honest words that make my relationships deep and vulnerable. And I’ll take vulnerability over fake and easy any day.
So thank you family, friends that are sisters, honest coworkers and real blog friends. Thank you for challenging me and being real. Because that’s what friends are for.
And now my weekend in Instagram :) Follow along with me! Username: deniselopatka
|so thankful for friends who bake :)|
|lots of laundry that never gets folded because Sevilla loves napping in warm towels|
|basketball in the kitchen with my nephew Wade|
|pretending he's shy. HA|
|my oldest nephew Chase got to go out on the field at halftime during a professional soccer game. WAAAAAY COOOOOL.|
|Sunday night reads. So good.|