When I was a sophomore in high school I went to lunch at Chipotle every single day. It was basically the same group of girls that I got together with at my lunch period; some of us would buy our meals and wait in line while the ones that had brought their lunch would go sit at “the table”. “The table” was the biggest, most oddly shaped and centrally located table in the joint. “The table” was always our table because there was so many of us that, first of all we needed “the table”, and second of all someone could always grab “the table” before anyone else would even think to do so. Some days we borrowed chairs from all the tables that had chairs to spare and some days we could keep the layout of the restaurant as we saw it when we walked in. Any one was allowed to join “the table” for lunch, or make other lunch plans if they wanted. Our routine was easy to follow and worked for everyone. The plan stayed the same, be at Chipotle, but most importantly eat lunch. No matter what people were dining with, on any given day we were creating such good memories and relationships that still carry on today. I believe it all has to do with one thing in particular…. how we ended the meal. It would start with someone saying in some sort of rushed tone that class is going to start in some time limit that wouldn’t allow us to scarf anything more down. We loaded up our backpacks full of left over food some where in between the lip gloss, hair brushes, and maybe Pink body mist spray-oh and something to take notes with-and we start booking it to the nearest entrance of my beloved high school. BUT though the meal was over, we still had one very important thing to do! We all would turn to the person speed walking next to us and ask, “Do I have anything in my teeth?”.
…and while we are randomly speaking of this, God has been randomly teaching me something with this story…
You see, people don’t ask if they have anything in their character thats not supposed to be there. Yet people ask if there is something that is not supposed to be there in their smile without hesitation.
God has clearly been telling me that we care more about the things people can see at a moments glance than what they would find if we let them into the deepest parts of our hearts. Maybe we don’t even care to ask what it looks like from an outside perspective. Thats not deep thinking, or even something that I needed to be reminded of, but I do think that God wants that to change. Through the scripture in Matthew 7:5 where it says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” my eyes have been opened (no pun intended) to a few things.
first: at the end of the day we need to have our eyes opened too.
Imperfections. Gosh, we know we have imperfections ( thats a whole other story for another day) but what are we doing to have our brothers help us get those things out of there? Just like my friends after lunch everyday checking our teeth before class, we can check our hearts for the things stuck in the complicated parts of our hearts. We must find those friends that can be put in those situations and tell us how it is; because the moral of the story is when we don’t have constant cleansing, the things that are not supposed to be here cause bigger problems in the end.
For me, being 100% honest by telling my friends how it is has NEVER been a problem. I understand that it’s not always the case for people. Conflict feels hard and unhealthy when love isn’t spoken at the core of the conversation.
Most people don’t realize that when they don’t get things out of there friends hearts, it actually causes problems for both parties. For example, if you have a friend that gets defensive every time you bring up a bad decision that they keep making, so you’ve stopped bringing it up all together because it leads to you to fighting. OR your friend has told you that they really want to start taking better care of themself. You want to walk with them and push them to reach that goal, but when they make a decision that will set them back on that goal, they get really upset with you, they feel attacked and it becomes a sensitive topic. It starts to feel like you had no place in getting involved in the first place, so don’t get involved anymore. These are very specific examples, but the point is we see the dark places in our friends hearts, we see how they reacted and know it’s not good. BUT, we have also started to respond with passivity. Which can lead to matters getting worse. Now, passivity is defined as an acceptance of what happens, without active response of resistance, so
let me ask a question…
DOES A FRIENDSHIP HARBORING PASSIVITY SOUND LIKE A HEALTHY FRIENDSHIP TO YOU?
I am going to go ahead and answer, NO! Your friends are the ones that should be taking care of your heart and letting it grow into something beautiful. The things in your heart that cause hurt are like weeds. Eventually, as any good gardener knows, the weeds will take over everything. The topics that have produced passivity in your relationship need to be stopped, and brought into an open, and loving conversation again. With this change there will be hurting, because reconstructing the things that are in your heart just sounds painful tbh. Yet, I believe that it is a necessary thing to value in friendship, and something worth fighting for…until the day when asking your friends what you have in your heart will feel like asking them, “Do I have anything in my teeth?”