As I studied and spent time with the Lord about what to write on – the word “superficial” kept speaking to my spirit. Let’s first see what this term means.
Superficial is “something occurring only at the surface; it appears to be true or real ONLY until examined more closely.” This very thing constantly happens through conversations, and friendships… relationships in general!
Why Is This???
As I reached out on social media to inquire about this question, these are some of the common answers I received:
“It’s ‘easier’ to pretend and not let people in…”
“Lack of accountability–Quantity versus Quality…”
“People can’t handle a ‘real’ one…”
“Too busy to invest…”
“Selfishness— doesn’t want to put that much time and work in…”
“Fear—Fear of getting hurt or being betrayed–past experiences…”
“In a comfortable circle–don’t feel that they need others…”
I can relate to every one of these answers as I look back on my journey of being a friend or needing a friend. I think we have allowed such busyness into our lives, we don’t stop for ourselves and others to truly allow genuine conversations to take place any longer. Due to past experiences and failed friendships, we would rather isolate ourselves completely or just keep it “easy” so we don’t have to get too deep either to or for someone else.
Let’s look at a few scriptures…
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at ALL time, and a brother is born for adversity.” This takes friendships to a whole new level – good times and rough times!
Proverbs 16:28 “A dishonest man (woman) spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”
The good news is that His Word tells us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” God has given us that same love so we can extend it to one another. We hold that very power! The power to walk amongst this world with all the things of this life swirling around us, including the struggles, and make time to SHOW love and BE love. You see, Jesus was intentional with his relationships during his time on this earth. Sure, he couldn’t share a deep devotion with many he came in contact with, but he shared his heart, his hurt, and his experiences among several friends. In reading the Word, it is very evident that John was a special friend as well as Lazarus. God appointed disciples around Jesus to walk with him, share with him, and learn from him. Who has God placed in your life? To share with, to live and learn with? Step out! Take a risk! Employ your faith! If we all dwelt on past hurt, how could God’s plan and purpose be accomplished in and through us?
Hebrews 10:22-25 reveals a challenge, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Time is running OUT!!!
Over this holiday season,open your eyes and hearts to who God has currently placed in your life and be intentional with your conversations. Engage in the relationship with more than just a “superficial” approach. Be deliberate in how you pierce beyond the layers of small talk to really being there for that person and allowIng them and you to be REAL about some things that are going on. Examine one another. Encourage one another through verbalizing struggles. Praise them for who they are. Motivate them in their purpose.
In your life, this may pertain to friends – it may even pertain to your close family. Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of busyness. Be the friend God called you to be-Trust Him!
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24