Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wise Friends

"The words of the wise are like cattle prods - painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep." ~ Ecclesiastes 12:11
Wise Friends
Well, several things jumped out at me this morning during my Bible time. It just so happened in my Ecclesiastes reading that we are in Chapter 12. I am reading Proverbs again, going by the date, so it's the 12th chapter as well. (Not to mention, my birthday is 12/11, so that kind of stood out to me too.)
Last night, in a conversation with one of my best friends, I was asked, "Can I be honest out of love?"
Usually, that's when you know something is coming that might hurt your feelings. LOL
Can I just tell you this though? I am so THANKFUL that I have friends that speak the truth to me in love. I have SEVERAL..not just one or two.
I need that. I do not need friends who tickle my ear and just tell me what I want to hear. I mean, what good is that? 
I am the type person that I want to be the best me. (Just like my friend Clay Shaver.) So, constructive criticism... BRING IT! Even if it hurts me at first.
When I read Proverbs 12 this morning a couple of verses reminded me of how my friends do this for me:
14 "Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards."
18 "Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing."
19 "Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed."
I have wise friends who speak life, love, and truth into me on a daily basis.
Do you have friends like this? Why or why not? 
If you aren't honest and vulnerable with people, they can't speak truth into your life. You have to be open. If people don't know what you are dealing with, how can they pray for you or walk with you during the difficult times?
Is it scary being like that with people? Yes for some people it is. It's important to pray and ask God for a circle of friends that He wants in your life. He will place just the right people for you. 
I am so very thankful for everyone God has in my life. I know He has a plan. Oh, and speaking of that.. I read Jeremiah this morning. You know how I'm always quoting 29:11? I didn't realize that God spoke that over His children while they were in Babylon in captivity. So, they had done something, God allowed them to be captured, but then He was like, "I've got a plan. It's going to be ok." I just think that's cool. It makes the meaning of that Scripture matter more to me knowing that.
Trust God. And, for Pete's sake, trust the people He's placed in your life. They are there for a reason. Allow them to speak the truth in love and help you navigate through the rough waters. God is our anchor, but our friends are our sails!
God bless you today and always.

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