It's good to know you're loved
Sometimes when I'm talking to people, I get the feeling they are telling me the things that they think they should say instead of the things they are really thinking or feeling. I probably get this feeling because I do the same thing sometimes... I think we all do at one time or another.
I'm not sure why, but lately I have been noticing this more and more, and it has started to bother me. I want people to be genuine with me, and I want them to tell me what's really going on. I don't want to hear what they think I want to hear; I want to hear the real stuff. I remember reading Richard Foster once, and he says, "In simple prayer, we lay before God what is in us, not what ought to be in us." I think maybe God is looking down at me sometimes saying, "C'mon, Collin, stop trying figure out what you should say to me and just give me what's in you." I think this because sometimes that's what I want to say to others (and to myself).
The thing I'm beginning to realize, however, is that it's not all the other person's fault if he or she can't tell me what's really going on. The fact of the matter is that it's partly my fault. Why would anyone lay it all on the line if they're not sure they will still be loved? When I finally figure out that God loves me no matter what I say, that's when I start laying before him what is in me. It's simply my job to be confident enough in God's love that I'm not afraid to pray honestly (it's called trust). This way, when God says, "I love you," I can say, "I know."
The point is that if I want other people to be honest with me, I need to show them they'll be loved either way (this includes being honest with them). When people know they're loved, then all the good things about relationship can thrive: openness, honesty, silliness, and craziness. In fact, it would be a great complement if, when I say to any of you, "I love you," you could really say, "I know."