Proverbs 27:6Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
I have one friend, Donna (my spiritual "mama") who will ALWAYS be honest with me! I call her because I WANT a friend to be honest. I have many friends that I could call when I want to whine and hear them say, "Poor Tracy." But not Donna.... She will tell me I need to apologize to Brian. She will tell me that I can't wallow in self-pity. She knows the Word and doesn't "tickle my ears", telling me what I would LIKE to hear! We need to be AUTHENTIC in friendships. I wrote about authenticity here and here. I wrote about Donna here.
What I would like to chat about though, is a time when God called ME to tell something to a friend that I didn't want to! I am not a person who easily tells people when they are doing something wrong (except for my hubby- OOPS! That would be another post!). I don't like conflict. Don't like debate. Don't like to argue. I certainly don't feel comfortable bringing up something UNCOMFORTABLE!
But sometimes God calls us to do just this! With Donna, we have an open agreement to tell each other these things. And usually, I am coming TO HER, asking her to help me through it. For instance, I already know that my heart is being selfish....I need to talk through it/pray about it. But, there are times God will call us to confront our sisters (or brothers) in Christ, "wounding them with sincere words." (Proverbs verse). Also see 1Corinthians 4 and 5.
I have a friend who had a baby out of wedlock and lives off/on with her boyfriend. We are close and she is a Christian. Right after she had her baby, God began laying on my heart to talk to her. I knew she knew that she was living in a sinful relationship. It was becoming hard to be around her because we weren't talking about it. It was like "the elephant in the room." It was like were just ignoring the obvious.
So, God, being relentless, not letting me stick my head in the sand, make sure I had NO PEACE until I "dealt with it."
So, after much PRAYER, I invited my friend over for lunch. Through tears, I shared with her how God laid this on my heart. I shared that God wanted so much more for her....how living together wasn't God's plan. We talked about sin. All these things she already "knew". We both CRIED and CRIED. I talked to her IN LOVE.
And, it made our friendship even stronger! She knew I cared about her enough to do something hard, even risking our friendship, for her greater good. I truly cared about HER. She knows that I will talk straight with her. There is no longer an uncomfortable "elephant in the room."
Please visit the Cafe to chat about friendships and loving our friends enough to be honest with them!