When not a true friend
For reading & meditation - Proverbs 27
"Wounds from a friend can be trusted '" (v.6)
We continue looking at the steps we need to take in order to develop friendships. The third step is - be prepared to be hurt. No relationship is free from pain this side of eternity - so don't expect perfection in your friendships. If your goal in life is to stay safe, then don't get involved in developing friendships. Friendships demand that you leave your comfort zone and confront an unknown wilderness. There will be times when your words or actions are misunderstood, but stay with it when this happens. This is what friendship is all about - sticking closer than a brother. It is loving as you yourself are loved. Fourth - love your friend enough to confront him or her about anything you feel is not right. Ask yourself: Am I prepared to lose this friendship in the interest of truth? If not, then you haven't got a true friendship. You are in it for your own reasons, not God's. You are not a true friend. Where you see wrong, confront it, but do it lovingly, gently and firmly. That?s what friends are for - to help us see what we might otherwise be missing. Fifth - allow your friend to have other friends also. Don't suffocate your friend by demanding that he or she maintain just your friendship and no one else's. It is this attitude, more than any one thing, which is responsible for the death of friendships. Give your friend the freedom to move out into other relationships, make new contacts and see new people. You will desecrate a friendship if you try to dominate it.
Prayer: O Father, deliver me from being a suffocator in my relationships. Help me to have such a secure relationship with You that I can risk losing a friend if it is in the interest of that which is right. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did Jesus call His disciples?
2. What was His command to them?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Every Day Light 7/15