We all know at least one person in our lives who tells us the truth, no matter what. It may be a friend or relative, but whoever it is, treasure them, because it’s a rare person who tells the truth out of love.
I got to thinking about this because of Job’s friends. How come everybody hates them so much? First of all, they showed up! Job was wealthy and popular, but when his life was destroyed, most of the people who knew him wouldn’t even bother to visit him, to try to comfort him – even to pray with him.
Second, none of those men knew what God had done, just like Job didn’t know. So can you imagine the richest, most kindest, most wonderful person you know, lose everything? In such a horrible way as Job did? Why would you NOT think that person had committed some hidden sin that God could not overlook? Job’s friends saw such a calamity in his life that the only way to explain it was sin.
Third, since it’s totally natural that these men assumed it, I applaud them for having the gumption to confront Job about it. There are lots of godly people in my life, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable confiding in them or taking a lecture from them. On the other hand, there are godly people I would appreciate a confrontation from if they truly felt I needed it.
Why do we tell our friends they’re right when they’re not? “That boy broke up with you because he’s a total loser!” How many times have we said that, when actually, nine times out of ten, there was a good reason and we all know what it was?
Here’s my rule of thumb: if, for example, one of my single girlfriends get dumped, the right time to confront an issue (if there is one) isn’t right when it happens. You shouldn’t kick someone when they’re down. But if months go by and she is still harping on him and really, she did something wrong, it’s time to talk about it. For example, if he had wanted her to go to church with him, and to increase in Christian maturity, and she refused, it makes sense it was a deal breaker for him and they weren’t suited for one another.
Here’s another rule: if someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or whatever it is, the time to confront this person is now. I’m not going to tell you how to do it because you already know how. You just need the courage to kindly talk to him or her.
Maybe we think, “Someone else will tell her. I don’t have to. I just need to be there for her.” Yeah right. Pretty much everyone is thinking that, and pretty much everyone will feel really, really guilty when something terrible happens and they all know they could have stepped up and told the truth.
So. Your boss, who is not a friend, asks you if you think he’s got a great golf game – even if you know enough about golf to say no, don’t say no! Say you think it’s got to be pretty good. You get the difference, right? And it’s never fair and godly to point out other people’s flaws just to make yourself feel better. Yes, we’ve all done it. Stop. And don’t ever say you’re doing it out of love if really you’re doing it to be spiteful. What goes around comes around. Karma and all that. Just be a friend!