July 21, 2006

With friends like this…

Posted in community, friend at 2:15 am by jimazing

A quote from Jeff VanVonderen’s Good News for the Chemically Dependent

… human beings have three basic needs. First, we need to be convinced that we are loved and accepted, without strings. In order to get love and acceptance, we do not have to act or refrain from acting a certain way, perform, excel, be polite, or quote Bible verses… This love builds people because people, not behavior, are loved.

Second, we need to be convinced that we are capable, valuable, important, special, and worthy….biblical terms that communicate the same concepts: chosen, gifted, called for a purpose, given to one another.

Third, we need to be convinced that we are not alone. There are two aspects to this. We need to know that we are not the only ones who think, act, feel, and struggle as we do… We also must know that there are resources and support in times of need. We are not alone!

This book is written to those who are struggling with chemical dependencies or love someone who is. Reading it, I realize that this is about something even more pervasive that addiction. I have habits and hurts and hang-ups that I don’t want anyone to know about. I feel like I have to perform in order to be accepted. I sometimes feel like I don’t measure up and I do feel like I’m all alone.

I believe in the power of God and the power of godly friends who accept me as the broken, unlovable goofball that I am. I believe that I can make it through life because of the good news that He loves me in spite of me. He loves me! He wants to be my friend!

It is not about being correct, nor having all the answers. It is not about performance. It is about being vulnerable with a few good friends and admitting my screw ups. It is telling one of my friends what a mess I am and how I screwed up… only to find this in my email soon afterwards…

“Do you know that I admire you ? I DO.. You are after God’s own heart and that is a man I admire. You area also a great GREAT friend. I want to be around you, to know you more and have you rub off on me. Thanks for giving of yourself to growing this friendship. It continues to change my life and it’s outcome. Forever”

With friends like that, I’m going to make it! God help me to be a friend and brother like that.

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