Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Safety First!

I am a safe person.  Because of that character trait, I OFTEN assume everyone is safe.  It is a ghastly mistake.  What is a safe person?  A safe person is someone who can listen to your problems, your 'dirt', and still love you just the same.  In fact, they may even love you more because they feel a special bond to you.  They don't judge you or decide they need to 'help' you manage your life.  They don't look down at you and feel pity for you and yours.  They don't shelter their children from yours to avoid your 'dirt'. They don't become a wonderful superficial friend-you know the ones who smile at you and speak sweetly, but it never quite reaches their eyes.  The delivery of the nice-nice just rings hollow and fake-fake. SAFE FRIENDS love you where you are, know you have flaws, know they have their own set of flaws and give you the delightful gift of love and friendship.  A safe person may even go as far as believing that we serve a REDEEMING God who will use me and my dirt to help someone else.

Now, first, I need to clarify that I have alot of safe friends.  Friends that form a very large support network around me.  They look across at me and love and respect me...dirt and all.  Friends that God uses to bless me and encourage me to keep on even through life's frequent messes.

My problem is the friends that pretend to be safe.  The ones who are hanging on to the side of their own dirt cliff.  Sure, they have dirt.  A few people even know they have dirt.  Their focus is not their own dirt though.  No, their focus is finding out other people's dirt.  Their goal is to pretend they have no dirt while pointing out all the dirt of those around them.

I know that this type of thing is very common in churches among Christians.  Don't kid yourself though, it is a very helpful tool of the devil and it is alive and flourishing in non-Christian worlds as well.

So, I have talked about all of this to say this:  I struggle with people.  I struggle with liking people and letting them through the thick wall I have built around my heart.  I am not a naturally trusting person (anymore) and when someone repeats gossip to me...the wall thickens and my brain tells me to avoid this person forevermore.  The trouble is we all do it.  We don't all make a lifestyle of it like the aforementioned type, but we all discuss things we shouldn't with people we shouldn't.  Sometimes we let things out that we never meant to. 

Another big complication: being both the student and teacher at the same time.  Controlling my tongue and helping my children learn to control theirs.  Knowing that the UNSAFE people in my life are still people that God dearly loves AND will use to further His kingdom.  Knowing that I learned to be a safe person by first being an UNSAFE person.  Learning the difference with the gift of wisdom know as 'growing up'!

I am neither better or worse than anyone else.  I KNOW THIS IS TRUE.  Yet, in reality, I have a hard time knowing it.  I have a hard time not ranking sins, my own and the sins of others.  I sit here in the knowledge that I was once an unsafe person resenting the hell out of the people who still are.  I think that is known as bitter irony.

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