Friendship Ends

I often think that I have understood sooooo much about friendship. Why is that? I’ve made friends since I was in elementary school. This friendship was not a fake one. At least for me, I’ve never made friends for self-gain. I’ve never been friends for the sake of some sort of popularity–it’s different if that friendship culminates in popularity, tho. Never did I think manipulative to any friendship I was in. Even though I was very young to understand the true meaning of friendship, the innocence instinct was deep in my soul.

I create best-friendships. I have best friends in elementary school, junior high school, high school, and even when I was in college. I’m not a typical person who is superbly private that I do not need a friend. In fact, I love to be in a friendship, the true one. I am also not a typical person who tries to be everyone’s best friend that I can not get the true meaning of best-friendship.

Sorry, you will read more of the word “I” in this post, because this is the story of me; my personal experience, my reflective material, and something that has caused me a headache. Yes, the friendship and all the phenomenons have caused me a lot of headaches.

Disclaimer: this post is not meant to offend one or two persons, or even anyone. This post is purely my way out of the headache I’ve suffered. And… please, wouldn’t you let me be healed?

Let me tell you something. I have already known myself as the one who quite understands about friendship. Obviously, on that basis, I must have felt that I was (or at least fighting) being a friend. I recall some examples I made as a proof of my statement and I came to a point: I’ve done so much, I’ve done my best. So, what’s the problem? Should not I be alright? Then what’s the point of me understanding things about friendship? Isn’t it to be able to apply them well in this life? Why now am I having headache?

Disclaimer again: this is not the first time I feel like this and obviously, I thought I’d found some reasons.

Before writing on this page, I spent a few minutes reading foreign psychologist’s articles about friendship. In addition, I also read the writings of some people who base their arguments on biblical principles and values. In my opinion, both are much different. In fact,  I think this version of psychologist is too ordinary and does not touch the gray area of issues that often occur in friendship. Sorry to conclude that too fast, but at least that’s what I think after comparing the two of it.

BUT anyway, one of the heart-stopping writings is here. The author is Kelly Needham (gosh, me too, need ham, sorry, jk). True friends are hard to find, as she gives a title. I suggest you to read this article for a moment, of course after finishing mine. #yha #biar #fokus #aja

I cried as I read the article while imagining some of the friendships I’m in. Why? Because I only find a handful of people whom I think have applied the principles in that article to me, or vice versa. Much less than how many people I consider friends. Much less than I thought. The testing-year I use is 2017. There are some events that surprisingly made me really sad. I admit I am a crybaby, but I know why.

After so long not experiencing it, I finally (?) heard someone talked about me behind my back, I was being underestimated, being considered inappropriate to get something, considered sok suci, being marginalized from one particular topic of conversation. I also experienced when I was accused about something, in front of many people, no one (even the ones I call best friends) expressed their opinion about me although they know I didn’t do as what I’d been accused. I also experienced bad communication in friendships, the efforts I did seemed meaningless, I was being misunderstood, and last but not least (lol), having people came to me only when they need something (it often happens, anyway).

Truly I say, I knew it all but often keep them to myself because I want to love them and forgive what I considered mistakes. I don’t want to record all those wrongs in my heart. I also keep it to bring it to God, asking Him to search me, look at my heart, try me, if I’ve been overly sensitive & have sinned with my negative thoughts and feelings. I did a lot of ways for self-introspection before it leads me to these conclusions.

I bow and confess those sins to God, still, I am also aware, the facts that have happened can’t be changed, and that’s what makes me more sad. Those things I clearly experienced already put gray color in my 2017. But yeah, that should make me grow.

I think it’s just about it, full stop, about me who feels sad because friends ain’t like friends, but no. I was rebuked by some of God’s words in this article. This article generally talks about whether existing friendships have become idols that replace God’s place in our hearts. There are some good testers to ask ourselves about whether we have created a god that looks beautiful and fine, but definitely destroys us inside, destroys our identity. Some people have a tendency to idolize other good things such as academic intelligence, social activism, economic maturity, professional status/service/ministry, but I may have a tendency to idolize relationships. Uniquely, it’s a friendship-kinda relationship. Rarely do I find any posts/seminars/books on this particular subject. Most relationships that are often used as an idol is a man-woman relationship. You know what I mean right.

The questions in the article are mostly I answered “no”–it means I try not to replace God with my friendship, thank God. But, obviously, God’s words there remind me not to fall into that sin (because it seems like a typical person like me has a tendency towards it). To be honest, I’m happy to befriend anyone, I once even realized that I’d rather help my friend than help myself. Because helping them is helping me. I do not know what it is, I do not understand why. But if we are not careful and sensitive to such good things and harmless like this, we may arrive at the point of being drained and tired. Because that’s what I’m going through. We can not find a logical and powerful reason why we are friends and how we should be friends. Oh yes, being friendly does not mean being naive.

I mean, this article brings me to another contemplation of the friendship that causes me headache: do I exaggerate friendships (because of the tendency to idolize it) so I do not get real joy when I go through it? Why headache, right? Or if we go back to the first article from Needham, maybe I have so-called best friends, but not the real ones.

Do not be afraid to end the friendships which of course we must have been thinking and praying before God. True friendship, Christian friendship, brings us deeper to feel the true joy that is only in God. Those who truly love you will share what makes them rejoice–that is God. Not only that, true friendship will expose our sins, before us, and dare to rebuke us and counsel us in love. To rebuke us is indeed a good thing, but it is also important to be friends with those who continue to encourage us in honoring and obeying God. A true friend understands where he should take us when we are in weakness, it’s to God. True friends pray for you. Take some time to remember, who did you ever pray for? Ask your best friend, has he/she prayed for you? Really pray for you? True friends also know why they love us: for the glory of God. “Like everything else, the end goal of our friendships should be God and his glory.” Needham said, and I agree.

Once again, God proves that Elisabeth is indeed broken and know nothing. God proves that Elisabeth is the first to examine herself before confusing things outside of her. So that introspection will lead to a clearer vision of what is really going on out there, leading to a genuine motivation in testing friendship for the sake of a true friendship.

Be wise in everything, including in such thing as normal, as fine, as friendship.

Advertisements

Got a quest on AskFM: kenapa sih banyak orang yang suka nge-judge lewat media sosial? Padahalkan menebarkan kebaikan itu bisa lebih indah?

First of all, being judgmental in general terjadi karena manusia gagal mengenal dirinya sendiri–in deeper sense of recognizing ourselves. Kenal diri sendiri nggak cuma berarti tau bahwa kamu itu seorang yg introvert, koleris, ambivert, pemalu, pendiam, or whatsoever. Mengenal diri sendiri lebih dari itu. Bahkan sampai kepada, “untuk apa/siapa kamu hidup?”, “kenapa kamu (masih) hidup?”, “apa potensimu?”, “why you do certain things?”, “apa yg nge-drive kamu melakukan ini dan itu?” dan banyak pertanyaan mendalam lain.

 And it requires a lifetime journey.

Kenapa orang jadi judgmental karena alasan itu? Yes of course, karena kalau kamu kenal banget sama diri kamu, kamu nggak akan berani menghakimi orang lain–kebanyakan kita pasti melakukan hal yg sama–atau punya potensi melakukan hal yang sama. This behaviour kemudian mendapat ruang yang lebih besar dalam penggunaan sosial media.

What can you interprete from a filtery kind of picture on Instagram? It will never fully describe anything about that person. I mean, ketika kamu yang tidak mengenal dirimu sendiri dengan baik mulai menilai seseorang di sosmed yang tidak kamu kenal dengan baik (people tend to judge someone they barely know, right?) maka jadilah ini double-trouble. What measure will you use to do so?

The good news, the more you understand yourself, the less you judge. The more you understand others, the less you judge. Imagine if these two things combined together. The world will be less judgmental.

The next question is, how could we understand ourselves more each day? 🙂

Bukan Kebetulan

Ini adalah salah satu lagu terbaru Sari Simorangkir dalam album terbarunya “Sovereign” yang sangat memberkatiku–selain “Kuserahkan Segalanya”. Judulnya, “Tuhan yang Besar medley Doa Yabes”.

Lagu ini menceritakan tentang pengakuan seorang manusia akan Allah yang besar–dan bahkan berani meng-klaim-Nya sebagai kepunyaan-Nya.

“Aku punya Tuhan yang besar yang t’lah berjanji dan sanggup menggenapi. Imanku bersepakat percaya kuasa-Nya. Ku’trima s’karang kemenangan dari-Mu.”

Lagu ini berisi keyakinan iman yang kuat dari seseorang yang percaya bahwa pengharapan hanya ada di dalam Allah. Pengharapan ini yang memampukannya untuk berkata bahwa meskipun dalam kesesakan, ia tidak akan menyerah. Allah yang menggenggam seluruh hidupnya.

Ini adalah bagian yang sangat indah. Allah itu setia dan Ia tidak dapat menyangkal diri-Nya–kabar baik bagi kita. Jadi, hati Allah tidak bergantung pada kita, pada kondisi kita. Bagian ini sangat menguatkanku yang sedang menghadapi pergumulan–terbesar sepanjang hidup, seingatku.

Aku sedang mendengar lagu ini ketika sedang membaca saat teduh dari Our Daily Bread, yang semakin membuatku kuat; renungan yang berbicara juga tentang Tuhan yang besar:

Aku bersyukur selalu merasakan penjagaan-Nya, bahkan di tengah ketidaktaatanku. Seperti saat ini (dan masih banyak lagi saat lainnya), bagaimana Ia tidak pernah meninggalkanku, tidak mau aku salah jalan, dan dengan lembut Ia selalu memimpinku. Dia tahu aku selalu butuh kepastian dan Dia datang dengan segala kepastian yang tidak sanggup disangkal hatiku.

Dan… ya, terima kasih Tuhan untuk kekuatan ini. :”)

It Isn’t Me

When I did my morning devotion about two days ago from Our Daily Bread, I was moved by the insights I got from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, especially what I learned from Paul’s example.

Paul is the one who never took God’s credits and cheers though he was such an inspiring & influencing apostle in his context & era. His faithfulness, his encouraging words, his firm & sound doctrines, his father-mother kind of love, and his determined & passionate heart to preach & teach, have been blessings to many of Christians now & then. He could boast & be absolutely proud of those qualities but he didn’t.

Not that he underestimated those excellent qualities, but he knew where he got it and realize much where the applause should fly to: God himself.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

This example is good for anyone especially for those who feel they have done many things for God (call it in a Christian ministry or on a daily basis), for those who sacrifice everything to God, who do their best in everything God called them to, for those who feel that they are spiritually healthy, for those who may see the fruit of their every faithfulness in following Christ.

Paul’s example is balance–uhm I think ‘balance’ is not quite suitable for what I mean. He didn’t stuck on these two extremes: first, being too proud of himself, or the second feeling too inferior (until it frustrates him) because of God’s grace.

I mean, God’s grace that is with us–is truth–and I always believe that truth sets us free. We know we can do many things with God’s grace & strength (I might add) without feeling superior when we’re fruitful, but we also won’t be ashamed & embarrassed if we’re not fruitful yet–by any reasons we could mention. Because our fruitfulness is also according to God’s grace–nothing we can do to decide when or where we could see that.

This is freedom, the true one: I’m just His messenger–yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Acknowledging God’s grace in everything is the sign of our spirituality–how we understand and know God in a way He wants us to.

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Typically Me

Setelah melakukan social media detox yang ke-3 seperti pada post ini, saya memutuskan untuk melakukan social media detox kembali. Detox ini sudah dimulai sejak hari ini (Rabu, 6 Desember 2017) dan akan berlangsung selama 20 hari ke depan. Media sosial yang akan saya detox penggunaannya adalah Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Story, dan Twitter.

Cheers & see you!

P.S.:

Saya lagi nonton drama Korea “Two Cops” dan suka banget sama scene ini:

Penting nggak?

#latenightpost

Okay, ini bukan waktu yang cukup bijak untuk menulis sesuatu karena seharusnya saya tidur. Sekarang sudah pukul 12.20 AM, ngomong-ngomong. Tapi, saya belum ngantuk & sayangnya, ada sesuatu yang ingin saya tulis (mumpung saya lagi inget). Jadi, kita mulai saja!

Belakangan ini, saya lagi banyak berpikir tentang “perempuan”. Sebagai orang yang tingkat imajinasinya cukup tinggi (#percayadiri), saya suka membayangkan tentang “perempuan gimana sih yang saya kagumi?” Pertanyaan ini bukan tanpa alasan. Saya termasuk salah satu orang yang suka mengagumi sesuatu/seseorang, meski itu adalah hal yang kelihatannya biasa-biasa saja. Saya juga suka menyusun kriteria “idaman” saya (apa yang dapat membuat saya kagum) akan sesuatu/seseorang agar saya bisa mencari untuk memperolehnya.

Untuk kali ini, kriteria idaman tentang perempuan ini muncul ketika saya membayangkan tentang masa depan. Jika Tuhan berkehendak saya menikah dengan seseorang yg sudah dipastikan-Nya, saya membayangkan, kira-kira pasangan hidup seperti apa yang didambakan dan didoakan oleh pasangan hidup saya, ya? Anyway, saya tidak bicara soal pacaran. Saya bicara soal menikah. Ada lebih dari 1001 perbedaan yang akan kita alami ketika kita pacaran dan menikah. Meski saya belum menikah, saya bisa pastikan itu. Itu cukup logis untuk diperkirakan.

Selanjutnya, saya suka membayangkan, jika Tuhan berkehendak saya memiliki anak, kira-kira ibu seperti apa ya, yang didambakan oleh anak saya?

Mungkin sebagian orang bertanya, “kenapa harus memikirkan apa yang didambakan orang lain?” Pertama, pendekatan ini adalah pendekatan yang sering saya lakukan kepada orang-orang di sekitar saya–pendekatan yang memikirkan apa yang menjadi ekspektasi seseorang terhadap saya. Bukan untuk mengimitasi terang-terangan ekspektasi tersebut, tapi pertama-tama mengujinya dengan firman Tuhan dan menggunakan hasil ujian tersebut dalam menjalin relasi.

Di saat yang bersamaan, tidak dipungkiri, saya tetap rindu berserah kepada Sang Pembentuk kriteria, dihancurkan dan dibentuk kembali, menjadi seperti yang Ia dambakan saja.

Proses ini berjalan beriringan dan tidak seharusnya saling bertentangan–ketika semuanya dilakukan bersama Tuhan & firman-Nya. Semuanya ini saya lakukan demi semata-mata kasih dapat dinyatakan dengan tepat, tidak menimbulkan kecurigaan, kekhawatiran, dan sebagainya.

Karena, kadang-kadang kamu bermaksud mengasihi, namun beberapa orang tidak bisa handle & salah mengerti. It’s important to know your ‘audience’.

Lalu, setelah membayangkan kriteria-kriteria perempuan tersebut, saya tersenyum pada 1 puzzle yang sudah tersusun di kepala dan hati saya. Puzzle itu membentuk sebuah doa, “saya mau menjadi pasangan hidup yang terbaik untuk pasangan saya, menjadi ibu terbaik untuk anak(-anak) saya, demi hormat & kemuliaan Tuhan yang sudah dan selalu membentuk saya, amin.”

Catatan:

Kalau kekaguman pada seseorang membuatmu tidak semakin mengasihi Tuhan & melakukan perintah-Nya, membuatmu jauh dari logika, waspadalah. Kekaguman itu sudah menjadi berhala.