Who is your real friend? Is it not the one who tells you the truth about what’s right and true…. even at the risk of losing your friendship?
We tend to listen to those who say things that make us feel better about ourselves…. even if those things are wrong. They may have good intentions of smoothing things over, but it is only the truth that sets men free from that which corrupts us, that which brings us harm.
David had another man killed and then took his wife. It seemed as if he had gotten away with his desire for more; until his friend Nathan showed up. Nathan told him a story of deception and murder that inflamed David’s self-righteousness; until his friend revealed that ‘you are the one!’ Smacked with the truth of Nathan’s words, David repented of his sin and stood to face the consequences before God.
What if Nathan had refused to speak the truth God had given him…? What if he had just given David ‘positive thoughts’? What if Nathan refused to even go to David, being more interested in his own self-preservation? The truth is, Nathan loved David, and he loved God more.
We need to hear the truth even when it hurts our feelings and makes us confront reality. Our ‘friends’ are not doing us any favors by holding back; our true friend is the one who speaks the truth in love and then stands by us in our circumstances… even at great cost to themselves. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Paul goes on to describe how this is to be played out when he writes, “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” He goes further to show us the example of Jesus in how He, “gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Jesus came and told the truth and then bore the consequences of not obeying that truth. He did this so that those who listen to Him could accept His free gift of grace and escape the crushing burden of bearing it ourselves. (Phil 2:2-8)
Nathan was a true friend to David. He had this attitude of Jesus that loves God more than life itself. Nathan, like Jesus, risked everything in order to save David from a life of guilt and despair.
Who is your Nathan? Are you listening to them?
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock. He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust.”
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “To be used of God. Is there anything more encouraging, more fulfilling? Perhaps not, but there is something more basic: to meet with God. To linger in His presence, to shut out the noise of the city and, in quietness, give Him the praise He deserves. Before we engage ourselves in His work, let’s meet Him in His Word… in prayer… in worship.” – Chuck Swindoll