Avoidance, lack of honesty, the refusal to be authentic and transparent, keeping one’s distance. These actions describe today’s status for too many lives. Past hurts influence present behavior which prohibits possible relationships. Pain—deep, deep pain—is allowed to remain alive. Rather than risking another hurt, another disappointment, and another scar, humans tend to choose isolation. Instead of recovery and forgiveness, our lives’ stinging narratives invite many pastors to keep relationships on the surface.
That isolation is hidden well. It is masked by humor and hurry, by religion and business, by control and dependence, by obsession and avoidance, by lies and political correctness, by a rapid pace and common numbness. Deep inside, the longing grows.
People—we—are made to live in the plural, not the singular. People—we—crave community. And, the same people have been hurt so deeply in relationships they—we—often maintain a distance. Considering it a safe distance, those avoiding choose to cope by dull religion, surface relationships, and shallow conversations.
What about you? Do you have a friend who allows you to speak honestly? A friend who refuses to gossip, preach, condemn, or turn away from the relationship? Do past hurts control present decisions? Have you recently spoken hateful words about another person, then finally realized those words came from the storage of wounds from your past? Are you willing to forgive those who haven’t asked for forgiveness and haven’t admitted to doing wrong?
Come up with more questions of your own. Think and ponder and consider. Evaluate yourself. Not someone else. Yourself. And pursue friendship.