"Friends who shame you, friends who harbor grudges against, friends who expect or demand certain performance from you, friends who are disappointed in you as a person, friends who won't forgive you, friends who don't/won't/can't give you freedom, friends who get angry with you and close off emotionally from you, and friends who expect/need certain things from you are saying, "I have placed you on a platform of performance expectations, and if you don't meet my expectations, I want nothing to do with you."
This is so very true. It is one thing for those who don't know you to judge you and blame you and treat you as an enemy and the cause of their problems, but when it comes from within your own family and circle of long-time friends, it is especially hurtful. I know, I've been there. We all have.
But on the other hand, when those who differ with you, or even might be disappointed in you or think you're off your proverbial rocker and a heretic of sorts - or those you've mistreated yourself - still express love and patience and kindness toward you, that is when you see what Christianity should be about. I know this too, and have experienced it recently.
Sad thing is when we shame our friends and family members and hold grudges and expect performance and adherence to their doctrinal views in exchange for their acceptance - we are showing that we don't believe the bible, and we are denying the basic tenants of the faith we profess.
Thanks, Wade, for a timely article.