Jesus shows artist He is her Best Friend
K had a tendency to judge others and hold them at arm’s length because she feared rejection. Jesus showed her that she did not need to seek the approval of friends because He loves and accepts her as she is. Praise God!
I was known as ‘the quiet one’ growing up.
I avoided crowds, hated loud parties, and loved to be at the corner reading my books or to sink into my thoughts. I had no problem standing on stage performing dances, songs or speeches alone but when it came to teamwork, I was always nervous and uneasy.
During my primary school years, my peers were quite gossipy and dramatic. This produced pressure when choosing which ‘friends’ to play with. Eventually, I did make some good friends, though later on, an incident occurred that turned my best friend into my worst enemy. I learnt I had so little control over people.
This subconsciously planted fear into my heart.
Fast forward to my adult life, I realised networking is an important part of my career, so I mustered up the courage to take a step out of my comfort zone. In this process, I was challenged in many ways, and was often disappointed by the people I’ve encountered. The incident repeated itself – I had a good friend at work, but this friendship was torn apart overnight after I was granted a promotion.
After so many friendship failures, I decided that I would be extremely cautious.
I’ve put up walls around me whenever I talk to people, analysing and judging them if they are eligible to be a friend. Things started to get better – I could focus more on improving myself, my career, and my well-being. I became a Christian, received so many blessings and gifts from God in my work, and I was very happy.
An opportunity to do a renewal prayer came to me one day. I thought I was doing pretty well in life but if there are ways to grow closer to God, I wouldn’t mind at all.
My motivation was to ask God to reveal any blindspots I had. As Matthew 7:5 says ‘You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’
Leading up to the prayer, a word kept on popping up in my head or in conversations – friendship.
It was quite obvious to me that I should take this word seriously.
During the prayer, I was asked about my childhood. I recalled the time when my parents hosted a birthday party for me with all of my cousins and friends. Everyone was enjoying the party, except me. There were 10 children laughing, screaming, and playing with the clown but I was far, far away at the corner of the room, clinging tightly onto my parents, not wanting any bit of that crowd.
I took this memory to God in my prayer. Instantly, He gave me a new image.
It was the same crowd of kids, but we were outdoors in a beautiful valley. There was no clown, but Jesus standing in the middle of all joyful children, playing. I was not in the crowd or in the corner of somewhere, but in Jesus’s arms. He held me dearly, and all the children were joyful simply because I was picked up by Him. At that, I burst into tears.
It was a simple image, but it spoke to my heart. I realised the reason that I always judged and analysed people was due to the tremendous fear of being rejected.
I could only accept people who can accept me, because I desperately wanted friends for life.
I had expectations on people because I wanted to control and keep them by my side. In that new image, Jesus chose me out of all the children, but the children were not jealous or angry, which I thought they would be. They were all happy FOR me.
The prayer counsellors later reminded me that Jesus came into this world and chose us not because we fulfilled His expectation, but because He saw us naked and loved us still. Jesus, the Perfect One, gave the sinful me an invitation to be His best friend.
After the blind spots are revealed, a burden lifted.
The expectations, judgements, and analysis of people used to wear me down whenever I socialised or met new people. Now, they are all gone. I not only can look at people who are completely different from me, but also understand their stories and get to know them as they are, without any fear.
I am able to befriend people the way Jesus befriended me.
God’s confirmation didn’t end there. The next day after the renewal prayer, I bumped into an acquaintance at church whom I’ve only met once. She was insistent that she should pray for me, so we sat down for it. She led the whole prayer, and I remained silent. I didn’t tell her anything about my renewal prayer, or my life at all. After the prayer, she said, ‘You often think your battle is in your career, but your battle is in your relationships.’
I felt God’s presence among us and joy filled my heart.
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ – Joshua 1:9
To receive notifications of new posts from Teaching Humble Hearts, please subscribe here .