#Bettertogether This is so much more than just a cute hashtag for social media. I really do believe the statement is true! Unfortunately, developing real, authentic relationships that extend beyond surface tends to be where we women struggle the most. I think the problem has very little to do with others and everything to do with us.

Last week my family was driving to church and my husband looked over and said “what in the world, Meghan…how can you even see? Give me your glasses.” I handed them over and remarked…wow it’s much clearer without my glasses! Insert your own laughter here. He said that’s because they are covered in makeup smudges and dirt! OH….that makes so much sense! HA! He proceeded to clean them for me and when I put them back on, I could see so much better! I’m so grateful for a husband who is looking out for me. I need all the help I can get! 

In life and in friendships, often the lenses in which we are viewing others is tainted with our own insecurities and insecure people tend to show off, show down or shrink back. This impaired vision keeps us from developing true, authentic friendships. Friendships where you can vulnerably share your weaknesses and confidently celebrate your strengths! There are 4 types of dirty lenses that I want to challenge you to deal with so you can see clearly and begin to build healthy, amazing friendships! Remember the spots and imperfections that drive you crazy about someone else might not be on their face, it might be on yours! Ouch! So let’s start by cleaning our proverbial glasses, are you ready? 

Judgement, Jealousy, Competition and Comparison

These fierce 4 will rob you of friendships every time. 

Judgement

How many of you are quick to make assumptions and arrive at conclusions? I am raising my hand. So often we operate out of pain from past hurts or experiences and we place people in categories in an attempt to avoid being hurt again or as a means of feeling better about ourselves. 

The Bible actually tells us: Why are you so worried about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own. We’ve got to stop ourselves from creating a story about someone else’s motives or character without an actual conversation with them first! You might be surprised what a simple open-minded conversation will reveal. No one likes to be judged and the Bible says “in the same measure you judge others, you will be judged!” I most certainly don’t want that. I need grace with a shovel not just a spoon so I am realizing I need to extend all this grace to others and silence my own assumptions. 

Jealousy

Jealousy is simply wanting something that someone else has. Maybe it’s material…the house, the car, wishing you could travel like they do. Maybe she’s getting married or having a baby and you find yourself still single or unable to conceive and it’s painful. Maybe you see your girl experiencing success in the arenas that you have a desire to be successful and influential and your initial response is, it’s just not fair! Again this reveals our own insecurity and lack of contentment in the space and place God has us in. Confident women who are secure in their own identity and season are able to celebrate others without feeling less themselves. Jealousy will always limit your ability to build authentic friendships…it’s a barricade to any relationship and it can often be the thing that fosters competition.

Competition

Competition says I need to be better than you or prove that I am as good as you! You know some of my very best friends in the world are some girls who are far more “successful” in areas that I am passionate about! Those friendships have developed because I have made a very conscious decision to suffocate jealousy and comparison and to be a champion and cheerleader for my friends!!! This has required a decision. It didn’t start as a feeling. If I had allowed my feelings to lead, I would have become competitive and robbed myself of some amazing friendships. You may feel one way, but you need to make a decision to act another.  We are not competing with one another. We are all on a great big mission that God put us on this earth to accomplish and we need to learn to embrace who God called us to be and cheer others on in the race God has given them to run in! 

The last thing that dirties our lenses is Comparison! This is a big one for us girls! 

Comparison is the root of all inferiority. If you compare yourself to someone else, you will always feel inferior. This inferiority complex will limit your ability to connect authentically and you will find yourself isolating. To avoid the comparison trap, you’ve got to watch what you are feeding yourself. If you are gorging on the endless buffet of social media and comparing someone else’s highlight reel to your lowlight reel, you are going to always feel inferior. Maybe take a break for 30 days and practice celebrating the people around you! Celebrating others and practicing an attitude of gratitude about your life will shift the narrative every time!

We need one another. We really are better together. Godly friendships will add value to your life. They will encourage you, challenge you and remind you who God has called you to be!  

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NLT 

We need the sharpening of sweet friendships in our lives but in order to develop those authentic relationships, we will need to clear our proverbial lenses of Judgment, Jealousy, Competitiveness and Comparison. When you clean the lenses…you clearly see the beauty in everyone and this is the friend I imagine you desire to have and the one you want to be! 

ABOUT MEGHAN ROBINSON

Meghan and her husband Carey pastor The Movement Church in Orange County California! Meghan is a wife, mom to two beautiful girls, church planter, pastor, speaker, friend, and big dreamer! Her greatest passion is helping women identify the God dream inside of them and awaken to their greater purpose! She also loves seeing women in ministry connected, equipped and inspired and is a part of our She Leads team!