I sat in the pew with a heavy heart. I was so focused on trying to be real and honest that I had done so at the expense of other people. As my Pastor challenged us to be speakers of life, I knew that I was just as guilty of speaking death at those I was so angry with for doing it to me.
I've been on a journey in going deeper in relationships with people, and as I thought that journey would show me the fault in our culture's view of friendship, I've been made more aware of my fault in my view of friendship- which smacked me right in the face- and it was painful.
As we've become a culture shifting towards #liveauthentic and being honest and raw, I believe that I've allowed that to be an excuse to be "real" at the expense of others. My conversations that started out with how I'm struggling with this or that would lead to how I was justified to struggle that way because of what so and so did, or how that person was treating me. And I began speaking negatively of those I was praying God would bring me to unity with.
God is faithful to answer our prayers, sometimes it just looks different than we think they are going to look. As I prayed for unity among believers and deeper relationships rich with discipleship, God was going to start with me, and with the way I spoke about the people He loves so dearly. And dying to ourself may look like praying for those we're mad at or those who have hurt us in a way that lays our hurts down and lifts that person up, because they are the love of God's heart. He created them in His likeness. He created them for a purpose.
As we dream to dive deeper into community filled relationships and cultivate a heart of a company filled life, let our conversations be always full of grace and may our words about each other be words of life.
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." -James 3:9-12