In Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, he helps us visualize what burdens are in our lives. Christian journeys to the Celestial City. It is hard pilgrimage with many lessons learned along the way. At the beginning of section three there is a beautiful picture. Christian has a burden on his back that weighs him down. On the hill, he sees a cross and begins to run to the cross. There, his burden falls off and rolls into a sepulcher (a grave), never to be seen again. Now Christian continue his journey unburdened.
Sometimes a burden is obvious, it is weighing us down and we can barely function. Other times we are so used to the burden, we don't realize how much it is getting in the way of living life fully. In the book, Never Unfriend by Lisa Jo Baker, she shared a story about how baggage from her past was getting in the way of her present friendships. She viewed these new friendships through the lenses of her younger self who had been hurt. Just like Christian, Lisa took that baggage to the cross. This truth shone a light on the baggage that I carry around such as how I see a friendship through the lens of I am not enough or sabotage a relationship with my insecurities. This burden weighs me down whether I recognize it or not.
But God didn't stop there. As I continued listening to the book, Lisa talked of being the friend we would want to have. I was confronted with the selfishness and neediness that I bring to my friendships. God used her words to expose those lies and expectations that block me from being a true friend. What would my friendships be like if my perspective changed from my needs to what my friend needs? What would my friendships look like if instead of being easily offended, I believed the best and loved freely? What if it wasn't about me but about what God could do through me? How freeing to leave those expectations behind.
What take aways do I have from the book?
What baggage do I keep carrying around that is getting in the way of me being a good friend?
- First I need to look in...
What unrealistic expectations do I have about my relationships?