(NKJV) "You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall nottake vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but youshall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."
It's good to be surrounded by friends. Men and women who love us is a great gift
from our loving, Heavenly Father. Hanging out together, fellowshipping in the Lord
together, enjoying a coffee (at the One Way Café of course, ha ha), and just enjoying
the wonderful opportunities God has given us with one another is a blessing.
Sometimes, it's through friends that God brings a message to us that we don't necessarily
want to hear. Are you really ready to receive correction or rebuke from your friend?
That's where things get tough and the ball starts rolling down hill, when a person
shares something with us that hurts. Because open rebuke is better than concealed
love (Proverbs 27:5
), the rebukes and exhortations which come our way should be
embraced as friends.
I know it's more comfortable for us to ignore a difficult situation or issue, as
we hope (and hope) it will get better. But that's not love. Love says, "I care
more about you growing and maturing than I care about what you think of me. If you
think I'm not a nice guy, that's okay, if what I'm saying will provoke you to love
and good works."Proverbs 27:6
says that the wounds of a friend are faithful. Be open and ready to
grow as you may come across difficult words and penetrating insights, sometimes,
even from friends.