Yesterday we looked at adverse effects of gossip on a friendship. To have one’s confidences shared with others amounts to nothing less than betrayal. It hurts when a friend betrays us.
Whether in word or actions King David knew betrayal by a friend. Psalm 41:9 echoes his despair at that betrayal. Jesus also knew the pain of being betrayed by a friend, John 13:8, Matthew 26:48-50.
Jesus told his disciples and he tells usthat we are friends if we do what He commands John 15:14. It made me think that Jesus must feel betrayed again each time we choose to disobey him – each time we know what is right and choose not to do it.
In another place Jesus tells us if we love him we will obey his commands, John 14:23. It’s how we show we love him – by obedience.
In a film I was watching ‘Guns of Wyoming’ starring Robert Taylor as Sam Brassfield described love this way. ‘Love is having someone to talk with –someone you don’t have to choose your words with.’
That’s what the love of a true friend is like. We can be ourselves.
We also expect to be able to go to a friend and receive advice. ‘the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.’ Proverbs 27:9. That’s because a real friend has our best interests at heart.
When it comes to words, we expect our friends to tell us the truth. That means sometimes our friends’ words hurt.
When I was a teenager I had a pair of small gold drop earrings that had a rose on them which perfectly matched the pink roses on a dress I owned. I thought I looked great. Until a good friend told me, ‘those earrings make you look cheap.’ Ouch!
Her words told me in no uncertain terms what she thought. In the scheme of things the comment never affected our friendship. One of the qualities I admired most about her was her honesty.’Blunt to the point of rudeness,’ is the way someone else once described her. I agree, perhaps my friend could have been more tactful inthw rods she chose but to me she was just being honest. I will admit though all joy in wearing the earrings evaporated like morning mist and I never wore them again.
Maybe it was a case of ‘wounds from a friend can be trusted,’ Proverbs 27:6
If you’ve been offended by the words of a friend, think about their words. Is there some truth in them? Is the matter important? Is it really worth making a fuss over and endangering your friendship?
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