“Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” Proverbs 27:6 NIV
If your friend was driving on a mountainous road, the bridge was out, and the signs were missing, wouldn’t you do everything that you could to stop your friend from heading in that direction? A real friend is someone who will give you the straight truth because they know that the truth will save you from trouble.
I know from experience that it can be difficult to tell a friend something that they don’t want to hear. I know that it can be painful to have your warnings discarded, watching as your friend continues toward a hazardous end. However, if you truly love someone, you will risk harming the relationship in order to expose a threat that could bring harm to a friend.
If I were see the potential for harm for another person, but keep silent about it, I am not being a good friend. Instead I am focusing on myself rather than on the person in trouble. A person who just tells us what we want to hear is not a true friend. Someone who only flatters us with empty words is not a real friend. A real friend shoots straight, tells it like it is. They do it for our sake, not for their sake.
Choose friends that care enough about you to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. Don’t choose to be close to someone that hides the truth from you. Don’t choose to be good friends with someone that is deceitful with how they really feel. Don’t choose to be friends with someone that acts one way in front of you and another way when you aren’t around. Don’t be friends with someone who sees your heart and then gossips about you behind your back. Choose friends that care enough about you to shoot straight with you.
“…Do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.” Proverbs 20:19
One definition of the word flatter is to “gratify by falsification.” A relationship built on deceit is not healthy. It will be shallow and unreal, most likely coming to a bitter end. Instead of hiding the truth, we should be genuine to develop meaningful and lasting relationships.
Application: Sometimes the truth hurts to hear it, and sometimes it hurts to share it. However, if received, the truth has the power to set people free.
By Melanie Stone