Shortly after my (Kendra’s) third brain surgery, some people were discussing my amazing recovery. Someone asked, “What is your prognosis?” Because I have dealt with this four (almost five years), I bluntly said, “Unless God does the unexplained, I am going to die.” My friend broke down in tears. And it startled me. I didn’t expect it. She is a good friend. If I learned that she was dying (more than we are all dying), I would be emotional.
Still, I didn’t expect her to value my friendship that way.
I underestimated my value.
Unfortunately, I have done it my whole life. In high school, I feared that people just tolerated me. When I left for college, I didn’t pursue maintaining those relationships, because I assumed they didn’t want them anyways. When I no longer had contact with them, I thought it proved that they only tolerated me. Now, I understand that I acted as if I didn’t want that relationship, and I am responsible that I lost most of those relationships.
I have heard it said, “To have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.” I wonder how many good relationships I have missed or lost because I wasn’t a good friend since I too focus on myself by criticizing and belittling. My fear was causing me to miss opportunities to love.
When you are busy undervaluing yourself, you miss opportunities to pick up the phone and encourage others because they might be busy. You miss opportunities to invite someone to an event, because they might not want to participate. You don’t want to be rejected, because they would only confirm that you have little value. When we always question our value, it is easy to be consumed with yourself. That is not what God has called us to do. We are to love.
Love isn’t self-centered (1 Corinthians 13).
Love is courageous. Love risks being rejected, for the other individual’s good. Jesus loved like that. He went to the cross knowing that not everyone would accept His salvation.
Some people will hate me. Some will just tolerate me. But Lord, please help me to be courageous in the way I love. Some people need my love. According to John Maxwell. “One in 10 people questioned say they do not have a close friend. Plus, 19% of people say they never or rarely feel loved.” These people need me to focus on their needs, rather than my feelings. Lord, I don’t want someone to miss out on Your love, because I was too self-centered to have a healthy view of myself and to demonstrate Your love.