“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
Within just minutes of getting on the phone with a friend who had reached out in response to hearing that I was struggling with something and could use prayer, she interrupted me not to just say she would pray for me. She had the nerve, the gall, the audacity, to do something totally inappropriate, unkind, insensitive, and un-compassionate, don’t you think? She pointed out something I was doing wrong that was undoubtedly displeasing to God and an impediment in my relationship with Him and would do nothing but hamper my continual learning how to walk, or to live, by faith in Him and His Word. Can you fathom that a friend would do such a thing? Wait until you hear how I responded!
If you’re ready to read about the battle that ensued, how I lashed out at her, how she defended herself, how she then threw me a verbal punch, how I walloped her with some nasty words, how we jumped full force into the wrestling ring in a roaring battle, you’re in for a big disappointment. Why? Because she couldn’t have been more right on in what she did, and I couldn’t have been more thankful and delighted. I am the first to confess not so very long ago I would have been appalled by what she had done and made it plain and clear, and a major dent would have been made in our friendship. I would have crawled off with my tail between my legs, handing out invites left and right to my pity party. Not anymore, thanks be to God. For He has brought me to a place I have come to understand what real love does. The love of Christ, that is. Real love speaks the truth in love, and the real love of a friend does exactly what she did. She lovingly, compassionately, sensitively, mercifully served as a vessel of the Spirit of God so He through her sweet, tender heart could through her gentle voice show me that I had fallen back into something I was working hard to walk free from in the strength of the Lord.
Rather than watch me flounder and ultimately sink quickly, steadily, painfully, and sinfully down into the place I was learning not to fall into let alone live in any longer, she had the courage and strength in Christ to meekly, humbly help me break free from a decades-long sin and problem in my life. And I, to God be the glory alone, was able to receive this precious gift God had given me through my friend.
A reminder to us all. To speak God’s truth in His love to others when He leads us, and to receive it with open and thankful hearts when He chooses to speak through His children to us!