Author: Rita Moritz - Blog Post for March 27, 2018
 
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A Way in the Wilderness Blog Post.

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God will make a way even where there seems to be no way.
"I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19

 
 
 
 

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March 27, 2018:   

But shouldn’t a “real” friend agree with me and support me?
#ironsharpensiron #kindness #ritamoritz
 
 
 
 

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Galatians 3:16
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

Recently on Facebook, someone posted a meme about love and friendship. The statement said, “Love accepts me for who I am and supports me no matter what I do.”  I certainly agree with the first part because if you don’t love me for who I really am with all my warts and blemishes, you don’t really love me at all. But I have to disagree with the second part.

I doubt I will ever be rich financially, but I am rich beyond measure in the many precious friends I have. Many of these dear friends have encouraged me when I needed it, rejoiced over every blessing, put their arms around me when I was hurting, and lifted me up in prayer when I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even pray for myself.

They have also challenged me to be better than I am and to do the right thing no matter what anyone else does. And they have gently and patiently reminded me and held me accountable when I didn’t. I have had friends who put their friendship on the line because they cared more about my good than about their comfort, and I’m the richest person in the world to have friends like that.

“Iron sharpening iron” doesn’t sound like warm fuzzies to me. In fact, it has to be rough and abrasive or it won’t sharpen anything. That’s not to say our friends or we ourselves can say unkind or cruel things in the name of “helping” each other.

But it does mean a good friend is going to gently point out the truth when I’m lying to myself. They might even say, “What’s your part in all this?” or “Haven’t you done this same thing several times before with the same results?” And those honest questions are going to hurt sometimes. No wonder Proverbs 27:6 tells us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

As much as I like to think I’m doing the right thing and my motives are what they should be, I’m often too close to a situation to see it clearly. While I’d like at times to have a friend I could point in some direction and say, “Sic ‘em,” that probably isn’t going to better me in any way or help me grow into the person God would have me to be.

My friends are doing me a favor by telling me the truth as they see it. Are my feelings going to be hurt? Sometimes. Should I listen anyway and then objectively take a look at my situation from another perspective? Absolutely.

I need to insert a word of caution here.  The trust has to be there, and a loving, trusting relationship takes work. We can’t take these Scriptures and use them as license to give our opinion to everyone we know. If you haven’t put in the days and weeks and months and years of hard work it takes to build a close relationship, your friend won’t be willing or able to hear anything you say, and you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

I thought immediately about a few people as I typed that last paragraph. You probably thought of one or two yourself as you were reading it. They would be the people who think it’s their right or even their responsibility to point out what they think is wrong in everyone’s life. And, boy, they know the exact Scripture you beat you up with.

They consider themselves “brutally honest.” The problem with that is we’re commanded to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). And love isn’t brutal. Bottom line: don’t be that person. And don’t let people like that determine your value. Rules or correction without relationship isn’t loving, and it doesn’t work.

Challenge for Today:  What might happen if we, just for today, realized we aren’t perfect and chose to listen to feedback from people who love us and we ourselves only gave loving feedback to others?
 

 
 
 
 

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