Characteristics of True Friendship: Choosing Loving Truth Over Vain Agreement
How can you differentiate a real friend from a fake friend? The answer lies in truth…
I recently had a life experience in which I greatly struggled with knowledge on how to handle. Okay, so I will be more forthcoming. I had a disagreement with my new husband. I was absolutely certain he was in the wrong and I was…well, innocently mistreated, per my usual, well-intentioned, naïve, victim-esque persona.
However, I also know myself well enough to know that being ill for over two weeks, in the process of moving from one house to another, and mothering my two very strong-willed, very active young sons may possibly play into my disillusionment.
So, I called one of my very close friends. She is like a sister to me. I could not love her more. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she will give it to me straight, despite the it being a truth I may not wish to hear.
I said these words: “I am really struggling with what is right. What to fight for and what to let go. Please listen. And as much as you may not want to, please be honest with me.”
I went on to explain the whole situation. My friend patiently listened, without interrupting once (which was the first welcome gift she provided).
When I was finished, I expected her to take my side, join me in my hurtful pride, and tell me to fight for what is rightfully mine (bragging rights, I guess)?
She did just the opposite.
My friend, kindly and truthfully told me…wait for it…I was wrong.
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She pointed out parts of the conversation that alluded to my selfish thoughts and even more astounding, my selfish behaviors.
She said she understood how I felt and validated my feelings, but she simply told me I was only seeing one side of the situation. And you know what? She was right!
“Whoever rebukes a man will later on find more favor than someone who flatters with his words.”Proverbs 28: 23
Seeing the argument with my husband played out within the eyes of a mature, fellow, Jesus-loving friend forced me to experience my disagreement with my husband in a whole new light.
A light of truth.
A light of possibility.
A light of justice.
In which I was, unfortunately, the one in need of punishment for wrongdoing. I had been so blinded by hurt, over-exhaustion, and self-empathy, that I truly did not even attempt to see things the way my husband most likely did.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”Proverbs 13:20
You see, as much as the human character likes a yes-woman, someone who tells us what we want to hear or agrees with us (even when we are blatantly wrong), it is the wise woman that finds friendship with a good-hearted soul not afraid to tell her she is wrong.
The difference between this particular friend and others, whom I would never share anything more personal than a Hollywood celebrity gossip story, is that she, in her godly wisdom, wishes to set me free from descension by being truthful with me, even if that truth is, at times, difficult to hear.
And trust me, this was one of those times.