What characterizes good friends?
- They encourage us when we’re going through tough times.
- They cheer for us when we succeed.
- They hold us accountable for goals we want to achieve.
- They’re honest with us when we ask their opinion.
- They care enough to confront when they see us headed for trouble.
I recall sitting at our kitchen table one evening, having coffee with my husband and one of our church-going friends. Our conversation was anything but easy.
That friend had recently left his wife and daughters saying he was having a midife crisis of sorts. “I need some space and time to sort things out,” he’d said to his wife and to our church leadership. Trouble was, he didn’t know that we’d learned he was having an extra-marital affair.
That evening we confronted our friend about his infidelity. It was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done, but we cared enough about him and his family to speak up in hopes he’d come to his senses. I wish I could say he listened and heeded our words. Unfortunately, he chose to pursue his own path.
Good friends care enough to confront. Hebrews 3:12-13 say, “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”
Sin is deceitful, and Satan dupes Christ’s followers more times than we wish to know. We need to look out not only for our own spiritual well-being, but also for that of others. When we see our friends floundering or flirting with sin, let’s care enough to lovingly confront. They might feel angry at us. They might not want to speak with us for awhile. We’re not responsible for how they react, but we are responsible to love them enough to speak up. Who knows? Our words might bring them to their senses and save their life.