So I had this good friend in college… and one day he pointed some things out to me (about me) that I didn’t particularly care for. Were they true? Yes. And that’s why I didn’t care for them.
You see, we had developed a close friendship, having been roommates for three of our four years. You really get to know somebody when you spend that much time together.
And when you get to know someone that well, you not only learn to appreciate their qualities and assets—but you also get exposed to their foibles and weakness.
I could see his flaws… and he could see mine.
Early on in our friendship, when we were still trying to figure out what made each other tick, there wasn’t as much honesty and transparency. Human beings learn from experience that you enter into trust like you do a murky lake… s l o w l y.
But we became close friends and in fact were both young Christ-followers in those days, so we understood that our friendship was cast in an even more solid mold, because spiritually speaking, we were also brothers.
And that’s where it gets sticky.
That’s because brothers love each other deeply—and yet they can also resent and compete with each other as well. It’s just what brothers do.
So I have to admit, that on this one occasion when he looked me in the eye and had the courage to say what needed to be said, I resented it… at first.
I wanted to blame him for being critical. I wanted to accuse him of being self-righteous. I wanted to tell him that he didn’t know what he was talking about. I wanted to be really mature and say to him, “I know you are but what am I?”
But fortunately, I did none of those things.
And after thinking about what he said for a while, and evaluating it from the perspective that I knew he really loved me and had my best interest at heart—I realized that this was a friendship like I had never had before in all my life.
And so I thanked him.
And I told him that at first it hurt me and that I wasn’t feeling such good things about him or our relationship. But it was his willingness to confront me graciously in the first place that not only provided correction— but proved the genuine nature of our friendship.
I needed a friend like that back then. I still need those kinds of friends… and so do you.
There’s a verse in Proverbs that says,
“Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
So let me ask you: Do you have any friends like the one I described? Are you that kind of friend to someone else?
That’s some kind of friend.