There is a rule I have. One this: Friends don’t let friends be a-holes. And if you are really my friend, and I am really being an a-hole, you will tell me to knock it off. If you let me continue to be an a-hole without my knowledge….maybe you aren’t as great of a friend as I thought you were.
I have been really
lucky blessed in this area of my life. My sisters have always kept me on the hook, whether it was asking me tough questions about purity in High school, or telling me I better get off my high horse before I get knocked off.
My best pal from the 6th grade, Diane, was an AMAZING accountability partner all through Jr. High and High school. And I am not the easiest person to hold accountable. I have the tendency to get a little defensive. In pre-marital counseling we took some test and Christian and I both rated me super high in hostility. Then I got hostile about it when my mom and future husband were giggling about the fact that I didn’t seem to already know this about myself. I may have been standing in my childhood living room yelling “Hostile! I’m not hostile! I don’t know what everyone thinks is so FUNNY! I AM NEVER HOSTILE! FINE! I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!”
Sometimes, when Diane would call me out on my less than Godly attitude or behavior I would often have a million reasons to justify my behavior. It wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t wrong. I was completely justified in my behavior. It was good for me to be…..doing whatever I wanted to. Especially the stuff that wasn’t good for me. And she was a good enough friend to not let me get away with that crap. She would stand firm, tell me it didn’t matter what I said to justify it. My behavior was not Godly. Inevitably I would call back at most a few days later letting her know she was right. Could she pray for me. She already was.
Between my freshman and sophomore years of college I went on project with Campus Crusade. I ended up living in a house all summer with 8 other women. And I learned there that if you really loved someone, you wouldn’t let them get away with being a butt. Yeah, a lot of times it is easier for people to just go on their merry way. What they do between them and God is really none of your business. You don’t want to hurt the relationship between you and her. Plus….sometimes…..it can get awkward. The problem with this line of thinking is that ultimately it is selfish. I don’t want to be uncomfortable so I am going to continue to allow you to hurt yourself. Mostly because I don’t feel like saying anything.
I know you have to develop a relationship and all of that before you can dive in. Recently a friend called me out on an attitude problem I was having. Then I tried to justify it. Then she laughed and said “You can think that if you want to, but I am pretty sure that isn’t the way God works.” Not unkindly, it was just that I was soooo being in the flesh right then. And we both knew my nature was seeping through. I have grown up since the days of a phone call three days later. I laughed and said she was right. I am so glad she loves me enough to not want me to be an a-hole.
Hmmm soe is A-hole short for army hole as I've fallen in my army hole (some folks call these fox holes) and I can't get up. Yeah a friend will grab a hold of whatever presents and pull you out. This usually causes anywhere froma little to excruciating pain. A true friend will take the time to find the least painful part to yank on to get you out of being (in) the army hole. I relate to butt to. I know it was wrong butt. sometimes is stuck there (usually your head) and it takes from a gentle boot to a good swift kick to set you free. A good friend will carefully weigh impact necessary before foot is launched. See I can do analogies too.
I read this yesterday- thought it was applicable. “What is the friend, who will be a real blessing to my soul? Is it one, that will humour my fancies, and flatter my vanity? Is it enough, that he loves my person, and would spend his time and energies in my service? This comes far short of my requirement…The friend for my case is one, who will watch over me with open r ebuk e; but a reprover, when needful; not a flatterer. The genuineness of friendship without this mark is more than doubtful; its usefulness utterly paralyzed. That secret love, that dares not risk a faithful wound, and spares r ebuk e, rather than inflict pain, judged by God’s standard, is hatred. (Lev. 19:17) Far better the wound should be probed than covered. Rebuk e, kindly, considerately, and prayerfully administered, cements friendship, rather than loosens its. The contrary instances only prove, that the union had never been based upon substantial principle.” -Charles Bridges
I know you have a better memory than I do, but I pretty sure you built me up to be better than I actually was. But, thanks. 🙂
I just remember that all my other friends would back down when I was like "I've prayed about it, God says it is fine!" The were like, okay. You were like, well you can think that if you want but you are wrong, moving on….