I get a little annoyed by how cheap the word ‘friend’ has become. I have 1000 friends on Facebook, so I must have lots of friends! Or I have 2000 followers on Twitter so people like me, they are my friends, right?!
Truthfully, most of those people don’t give a rip about you, and some might even be there hoping to see stuff badly in your life, so they can gloat and feel better about themselves. A friend? I don’t think so.
A true friend is someone who will support you when the &*$# hits the fan, but who will also kick you in the rear end when you are being an idiot. I am not being trite, but in this age of co-dependant, enabling, everything is fine if you feel fine about it, the truth has become an endangered species. Now, let me back up half a step and clarify something. The truth is NOT your opinion on a matter. It is God’s point of view.
In the past year or so I have had several moments where I had a tough decision to make. A friend tells me that they plan to do something, and my heart just falls. I can feel in the depths of my being that this thing is a really bad idea. So, I pray about it. Feeling doesn’t go away. It gets worse. So, am I going to be a ‘friend’ and tell them to have fun while knowing in the depths of my being that they are walking a dangerous path? Or am I going to take the hard road, and challenge them, knowing that they may get angry at me?
Many years ago, I had a friend who really wanted to get married, he wanted to be a youth pastor and be in the spot light and be a mighty man of God. He wanted to go to the U.S. and start a youth revolution. He had it in his mind that he needed to be married to have a partner in the ministry. He told me shortly after that he had a girlfriend. I thought that was great, and I wondered if God was answering his heart cry. I met her, and within 5 minutes, I knew there were going to be problems. However, I kept my mouth shut thinking that my friend’s happiness was at stake, and thinking that they were only dating, so what was the harm. I figured that they would soon see they were a bad match and that would be that.
One month later, my friend came up to me and gave me a big hug and told me that he was engaged. I almost threw up.
I started praying for wisdom, for intervention, that he would see the light, that she would see the light, that someone, anyone would say the hard words and tell them that they were making a mistake. No one else did. So I gathered my courage and met with my friend, and well, I chickened out. I Christianesed him. I asked him if he had really prayed the decision to get married through, and if he was sure that this was God’s will for him. He said that he had, that he was so excited, that this was the beginning of his youth ministry dream coming to life, that they both had the same vision, that it was going to be amazing. So I told him I was happy for him and I ‘hoped’ it would all be as great as he thought it would be. While in my mind I was screaming at him to wake up, that this was all a horrible mistake.
I was so worried that I pretended I was sick so I could skip the wedding. I ran into my friend a couple of weeks later and he told me how great married life was. I wondered if I had got it all wrong, and I went away relieved. Phew, I dodged that bullet!
A month later, they were separated. Three months after that, they were divorced. She went on a binge of sleeping with every guy in sight. He got angry at God and left town in shame.
I am not sure where he is now.
So now, I speak the truth, even if it is the opposite of what everyone else is saying. It costs sometimes. Friends get really angry at me sometimes. Each time I am afraid that my friends will turn and walk away from me. However, I love them too much to keep my mouth shut.