Advice that only a friend can give

[Notice: This month’s devotionals are some favourites from the past few years – and also previews of my upcoming book: “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day In A Biblical, Relevant Way.” Enjoy!]

Most people have some annoying habits. Sometimes they’re no big deal.

But sometimes those habits are actually hurtful. Maybe you’re perpetually insensitive. Or maybe you’re quick to criticize or trample on someone’s well-meaning ideas.

And here’s why it can be hard to identify the hurtful habits you may have.

It’s because people aren’t usually quick to tell you what they are. Why? Because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. And they probably don’t like conflict.

It makes me think of the Black Knight in an old Monty Python movie. King Arthur cuts off both of his arms in a battle, but the Knight continues to jump around enthusiastically as if nothing is wrong, proclaiming, “Tis only a flesh wound!”

He was lying to himself, downplaying the magnitude of the problem!

Sometimes we do the same thing. We lie to ourselves, downplaying the magnitude of the problem. We think we have it all together, and turn a blind eye to any hurtful habits we may have in the process.

So what should you do?

Proverbs 17:17 (NLT) says, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

So find a friend you trust who can speak to you candidly. Give them some warning about what you want to talk about, get together, and ask, “Where do you think I have room to grow as a person?” After they share, don’t defend yourself. Just thank them. And pray on it.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

By Matthew Ruttan

-This Sunday I return to Westminster after some vacation to share a message called “Alt Right? Alt Left? — and Jesus.” Click here to learn more
-“Up!” is published Monday to Friday and returns on September 3.

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