When we think about speaking truth to each other we often think about words that make us feel good, that put a smile on our face and brighten someones day. We think about reminding each other about the truth found in God’s Word in order to encourage someone in their faith – and these are all important.
But there is another kind of truth that we need to be willing to share. It is a truth that does not feel good in the moment. They are words that are hard to hear and even harder to speak. They are words of correction.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Proverbs 27:6
This does not seem fun or pleasant. What are the wounds of a friend?
What this Proverb is talking about is reproof and correction.
The hard truth that we sometimes have to speak to each other is about sin. There are times when we veer off the path that is good. We see it when our attitudes are bad, act selfishly, and are prideful. Sometime we misrepresent God and believe things that don’t line up with Scripture. In these cases, we need someone to come and speak hard truth into our lives so that we can change and get better.
We need to be women who are willing to wound our friends, for their good, and we need to be women who accept the wounding of a friend.
“True friends are not mobsters who club us with their words to prove points or settle scores. But godly friends are not less than EMTs (emergency medical technicians) who will rip open our carefully crafted excuses and stun us back to life. They wound us for our good.” – Greg Morse
We need someone who is willing to say, “All this complaining is unbecoming to someone who is going to be inheriting a kingdom.”
We need someone to say to us, “Spiritual laziness is not okay.”
Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
In order to sharpen Iron it has to clash with iron. Steal has to be rubbed against steel. There has to be some kind of friction. You have to have a friend who is willing to clash with you, but this clash makes us better not worse. This clashing makes people more sharp and more useful. If anything, it deepens a friendship because hard truth spoken shows true love.
How do we go about speaking this kind of truth to someone?
- Always in love. Always with kind words.
- Hard truth should always be constructive never cruel.
Jesus is our perfect example of this. He was kindness personified, He was love in the flesh, but He was not afraid to call sin sin. He was not shy about pointing out truth. And He did this always in love, always with care, and never in moments of frustration or with cruelty.
- Always speak with humility and never with an attitude of haughtiness or a holier than thou attitude.
- Do not nitpick and don’t feel the need to point out every little weakness your friend has. That is not your calling.
Let 1 Thessalonians 5:14 be your guide – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
What about when a friend comes to us and speaks hard words, how should we react?
- We must beat down our pride and not be defensive.
- We need to listen and not make excuses.
- We need to pray about it, asking God to show us if there is any truth in what was said.
- We need to repent and ask God to help us overcome.
A friend who is willing to speak hard truth is rare, but if you find a friend like this be thankful, because you will have found someone who loves you deeply and wants to see you flourish in your Christians walk.
“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another.” – Zechariah 8:16
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