As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (Prov 27:17). I so appreciate in my life truth-tellers who will tell me straight to my face what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. They will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15), just like it is, whether in rebuke, exhortation,, or revelation of a painful truth. It’s easier to listen to a trusted friend but God will use different people to open our eyes… not only our childhood best friends but even “enemies” and acquaintances.. We need to pray for humility, an open heart, and discernment to see what is from God (which we ought to take to heart) and what isn’t (which we ought to discard). If we can become better, then even criticism works out for our good.
May we not seek friends for how much they can tickle our ears to make us feel good but keep us in disobedience and away from God’s blessing. 2 Tim 4: 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear (2Tim 4:3). May we seek friends who love us enough to risk our disliking them so that unto God, they can speak the truth in love to us for our own good.
SONG: VOICE OF TRUTH (Casting Crowns)
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The Lord has blessed me with true and not so true friends whom I both love.
The “true” ones are my joy from the Lord and are classified as such because they are those who truly listen and care enough to know you and are genuinely concerned. They are those whom you can share your deepest thoughts. They rejoice with you and mourn with and alongside you with life’s ups and downs.
Moreover, like what this article says, true friends are those who can boldly tell you things you do not like to hear but they do so with love and care and compassion. The paramount objective is not to pass judgement but to clarify, give you a variant perspective so that you won’t be blindsided.
The not so true ones are those who profess to be your friends but most of the time would rather judge others than ask first.
I have beed stabbed, ridiculed, violated by so called friend who are professing believers. What hurts more are when good people around us do nothing. I want most to protect myself from these kinds of people who seem to think that they can speak rudely just because they carry a license that says they can because they are “irritated”. Ironically, I wanted so much to be like them and be able to speak my mind and put them in their place.
However, I couldn’t not only because I process my thoughts very slowly thus react belatedly. I also couldn’t do so not also just because God says “revenge is His”( I am not as holy as I want to be).
The biggest reason I couldn’t put them in their place because I can’t speak without crying incoherently first! What a wimp! No wonder I get those kinds of treatment?! Lord, give me higher EQ please!
As I lick my wounds and unwisely dwell in my self indignation, I began to wonder why God allows this hurtful, humiliating events to happen and what he was trying to tell me? I grapple between, well I have good friends anyway so stay away from those kinds of people. But my pride would like me to “learn” how to “deal” with them (and of course I want to know how to put them in their place). I also tried to talk to her (biblical recourse) about it but it got worse. I honestly still don’t know the answer.
But God reminded me, He said “ALL things work for the good of those who love Him and are called for His purpose.” Therefore, I conclude that these trying circumstance are sanctioned by God to do something good for me.
While I still ponder and wonder about God’s lessons for me, whether or not I should stay away from them, I marvel at God’s goodness for giving me true spiritual friends who are my agape family here on earth. They are not only my EAR-tickler from time to time, but my TRUTH-tellers as well all the time.
Lord, I thank You for giving me friends “who sticks closer than a brother”.
Dear Neighboring Caterpillar,
Thank you for your message. It is a blessing to have the discernment to identify your truth-tellers and the courage to listen to them. It is another blessing to have them at all. It looks like the tendency for incoherent crying serves the purpose of buying you time to be able to pray through your situation. May you be used to the time delay for prayer without the actual crying in the future. You will one day be a butterfly!
Yes having friends who are our loving and nurturing Truth tellers are indeed blessings from God which cannot be measured in gold.
I would not have survived past storms without them! They are indeed the silver lining to the otherwise gloomy clouds of life.
The only times we know for sure that we are not fair-weather friends are when the weather is gloomy.
Thanks BITS for your words of wisdom and comfort!
Dear Neighboring Caterpillar I agree with you that we are tested as friends when the weather is gloomy. It is a blessing indeed to have truth tellers in our lives. Thank you Neighboring Caterpillar for your visit!