"To be intimate with others is to reveal our innermost selves to them, including
our emotions, thoughts and desires. For such deep sharing of the soul and spirit
to occur, people must respect and trust each other. ... In a world controlled by
sin, however, to choose to be intimate is to choose to be hurt. Yet Jesus calls
us to this kind of intimacy with Him and with one another."~ Kenneth A. Schmidt
This kind of intimacy requires honesty. Honest is NOT something we are always willing to be....Sometimes we put on masks- our happy face. Our "everything is really OK face". "I really am not such a failure" face. "I am really not hurt" face.
Maybe it because we are embarrassed or ashamed of the deepest whispers of our hearts. I don't want anyone to see that ugliness- the jealousy, the envy, the critical spirit.
Maybe it is because we haven't even admitted our true feelings to ourselves.
Maybe it because I don't want to disappoint.....Shouldn't a Christian be "above" such pettiness?
Maybe it is because I am afraid of being hurt. I may be rejected if I share this.
The enemy loves for us to keep such things secret, in the darkness of our hearts. He encourages us to bury our feelings, our emotions, our ideas, our "mess ups." We begin to believe we are the only ones who fail, who have temptations....It is in the hidden places where we feel shame.
But, God who has created us to be relational (especially as women!), knows that we must share, encourage, and be honest with one another to flourish. There is risk involved, because, like Schmidt points out, we live in a fallen world, full of real people who will make mistakes- people who will hurt us either intentionally or unintentionally. But, this is what LOVE is all about. Love is not just a beautiful feeling from a Hallmark card, but a behavior that we choose to walk out.
"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1Corin. 13) ...clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against on another." (Col. 3:12-13) We need to extend to one another the same grace we have been given! We need to "bear with one another" and believe that as humans, we will make mistakes.
Why? Why take the risk that we will be hurt? Because this is what authentic relationships do! We need to be genuine and REAL with one another. This is how our friendships grow and bear fruit and flourish, but it is also how we grow and flourish and bear fruit. "As iron sharpens iron," friends sharpen one another. As Hebrews says, "we spur one another on." We encourage one another in faith. We grow together in our relationship with one another and our relationship with the Lord.
God calls us to this intimacy with one another, but more importantly with HIM! We need to be honest with God and with ourselves. God already knows the deepest whispers of our hearts (He doesn't NEED us to share them with Him), but we only grow in our walk with Him when we surrender them to Him.
But, the difference of being honest with God, being intimate with Him, is that He will NOT hurt us, like we risk people doing. God will never make fun us, reveal our secrets to anyone, or even be critical of our mistakes. ("Therefore, there is now NO condemnation in Christ Jesus). God says in James that He gives wisdom to anyone who asks, that He gives it generously and WITHOUT FINDING FAULT! We can completely trust God. The Bible says that God is trustworthy.
When we choose intimacy with God, we NEVER "choose to be hurt." God only has our best interests "at heart." God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows our end from the beginning. He loves us more than we can even imagine. There are times that God leads us to deep honesty with Him and with ourselves, and this can be painful. But, He only does this so that He "can bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted" and so that He can heal us, set us free, and make us victorious!
Father, I want to have a deeper intimacy with you! I love you! Help me to be honest with you, sharing my deepest feelings with you- my hopes and dreams, my failures, and my hurts. Lord, I pray that you would bring trustworthy friends into my life that I can be intimate with. Lord, I thank you deeply for the dear sisters in Christ that I love and who I trust completely! Father, thank you for friendships. I praise you. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.