A friend loves at all times... (but sometimes that love needs to be expressed by a slap to the head.) Proverbs 17:17 NIV
Okay, the second part of the verse is my interpretation, but I think the meaning is implied.
I am sharpened the most when my friends are honest with me, when they draw attention to areas in my life I need to address, and call me into a deeper walk with God. I would rather hear, "Is that what God thinks or what you think?" than have a friend turn a blind eye to my missteps.
For many years I thought I could do this journey alone. I decided sharing my heart with a close friend was too risky. While I longed for a connection, fear of vulnerability and rejection held me back.
Slowly I started opening up to those God placed in my path. The blessings of sharing life - the good and the bad - far outweigh the risks. Is it always easy? No. Would I go back to flying solo again? Never.
See, I need not only a shoulder to lean on, but a jolt back to reality, God's reality, from a close friend once in a while. True love in Christ is honest and brings the other back to truth, which is where I long to live.
Lord, thank you for the gift of friendship. Help me to be vulnerable and willing to hear truth from those who care for me greatly. Amen.