One day last week my friend told me something I didn’t like hearing. In fact, I was embarrassed and a little hurt that she so readily agreed with my confessed shortcoming. I suppose I wanted her to dismiss it or, at the very least, make me feel better about it. Instead, she was honest enough—and enough of my friend—to acknowledge (what I perceived to be) the harsh truth.
I guess part of me would like to be mad about it but I’m not. Really. I’m not. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” the Bible tells me, and my friend’s gentle rebuke not only proves her friendship to me; it serves as a lesson in humility. As is so often the case, humility is sometimes best learned through humiliation.
As iron sharpens iron, so one friend encourages and corrects another. I am glad for friends who love me enough to speak Truth, however unpleasant it may be. I am thankful we do not walk this journey alone, that the Holy Spirit uses relationships to teach us, encourage us and sharpen us. We are interdependent rather than independent and, as such, we need each other. I am the better for the many friendships the Lord has granted me over the years, godly women who have modeled for me both by word and deed what it is to live for Jesus. To my friends–young, old, real, virtual, near, far–I think you know who you are and I pray you realize that the influence you’ve had on my life is nothing short of profound.