God uses imperfect people. That is good to know. I’m one of those.
I don’t like hanging out with people who appear to be flawless. Although I am acutely aware that Jesus was the only perfect person on Earth, some people that I encounter, shelter themselves and don’t ever share their imperfections or past mistakes. This translates into a perception that my character flaws are unique. I then feel uncomfortable about opening up about myself. Keeping up guards and masking mistakes kills friendships.
Recently I had a conversation with my friend Anny. Our seventh grade boys are on the same flag football team at school and we found ourselves gravitating toward each other, and generating great conversation during the games as opposed to [insert guilty look and shoulder shrug here] watching our boys play football.
Although I had known Anny for a few years, I have never had the opportunity to sit down with her and talk about where we had come from, and what we had been doing, prior to ensuring that book reports get completed and packing lunches with a nutritionally apt variety.
As I shared about the demise of my first marriage, pulling away from the grip of God, and floating from boyfriend to boyfriend hoping to find my marital match, my way, Anny listened, without judgment. In addition, instead of nodding through my story and then turning to watch the game, Anny shared with me some of her past hurts and imperfections. This was refreshing.
The next week I looked for Anny and was excited to hang out with her. I anticipated chatting again and sharing while attempting to watch seventh grade flag football. I shrugged off the fact that twice my mother came by and said, “Shouldn’t you be watching your son play football?” I replied with, “I like talking and, I am great at multi-tasking.”
Anny and I grew to be closer friends because she and I were both willing to share, comment, suggest, and listen to each other. This is how friendships grow deeper. I appreciate Anny more now because I can identify with her.
Rick Warren says “It’s only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship. The Bible says, ‘If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other . . . If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves’ 1 John 1:7–8.
Next week my son has another football game, one of his last for the season. I’m going to miss my time with Anny. Perhaps our boys will try out for the next sport together, basketball. If not, we will have to just have a great conversation over lunch like normal friends.
That would be great, too.
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed” James 5:16 MSG.