I had a discussion with someone I really didn’t want to have – you know the kind -the one with the friend who is the only one that will tell you there is green spinach between your teeth or that your breath smells or that you are really, really messing up.
I met her at a park for a long walk. Truth be known, I didn’t want to have to look her in the eyes when I told her the really, really messing up part. Funny how thoughts flow through one’s mind – I remember how many mistakes I’ve made in my own life. Am I really qualified to tell her she is messing up? I myself have had many a conversation at this very same park, walking endlessly, listening to someone who loves me tell me what needed to happen in my own life. It is then that I find balance because I am grateful my friends care enough to alert me to the dangers of what I’m doing.
And so we walked…and so we talked…
Using all the therapy words I’ve learned at $150.00 an hour with countless therapists -the one’s which start with “I feel that the decisions you are making…” or “My perception of what is happening currently…” or my favorite, “It appears to me that if the route you are taking continues it will lead you…” – I tried to explain to her why I needed to talk with her. What I really wanted to shout at the top of my lungs was “YOU ARE MESSING UP! AND I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO STAND HERE AND WATCH YOU DESTROY YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY!” But maybe those are the very words I needed to say.
We’ve become a society of political correctness, therapeutic linguist, tip-toe around the tulipist, and any other way of saying it – and what we need to be are activists of truth.
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Truth hurts. Reality is not fun. Telling a friend I love her, but she is in a tailspin, is tough; but if I truly love her, shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t we all be more real with the people who love and trust us?
The funny part of my conversation with her was she actually stopped me in the middle of my therapeutic linguist chatter (which I actually like, by the way) and said, “Can you just say it, cause I need to hear it.”
And I did.
Personally, I don’t want friends who simply allow me to do what I want to do and be who I want to be when what I’m doing and being is wrong. A friend is someone who is there before the storm, during the storm, but most importantly – after the storm – when all the others have cleared away. People love to rally around you in the middle of the storm but when it is all over, and you’re left alone, standing, trying to fathom what actually occurred and how you survived it, most people have moved on. A true friend stays through all the stages and then some.
What kind of friend are you? Are you the type of friend to others that you want to have? I challenge you today to evaluate your friendships. Do they line up with the type of friends God asks us to be?
John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”