I'm still reading, "Daily with the King," so you might be on this journey with me awhile if you're reading my blog. Today I am reading about relationships. It says in the book, Next to the problem of self, the greatest problem I will have as a disciple is my relationship to others. When that relationship is pure, there is no greater joy; when sour, no greater heartache. But what do I do when a friend becomes a "holy irritant?"
I read the verse in Ephesians 4:2 that mentions "Forebearing one another in love." To forbear means I will accept others the way they are without rejection.
We tend to pick friends who are most like us, or sometimes we just find ourselves with friends, and we try to change them to become more like us when they rub us wrong. But we all need a person that we allow to be our "troubler." Someone who can tell us like it is, regardless. If you can find this person and build up the level of trust and know that they love you no matter what, then this person will do wonders for your heart. BUT, you have to grant this person the right to exist in your life and say their piece, so you can learn from them and even be molded by them.
The book says, God deals with me in strange ways, none stranger than my troubler. He may be God's velvet glove to smooth away the crustiness of my heart.
I know I have a few select friends that I am their "troubler," mainly because I speak truth and I speak it pretty boldly. These friends have allowed me in their life and have come to realize that whatever I speak, I do it out of love for them. I love them too much to NOT say the difficult things. I love them too much to lie to them. These relationships with these people are sooo rare, and I know they are for a lifetime.
I also have a troubler. She is one of the most encouraging people in my life, I love her dearly and she will always, always, always be in my life. But she doesn't back down in asking me the difficult questions when she needs to. I love that about her. Sometimes she will ask me a difficult question because she thinks she sees something and she might be wrong, and at those times I could get ticked at her, but I don't...because I know her...I know she is asking me those questions out of sheer love for me. So I can respect that. Other times she has seen something, and she was correct, but instead of dismissing her or acting out in anger towards her, I respect her and she makes me think about it in a different way. I have learned so much from this person, she has made me a better person.
So if you don't have that "troubler" in your life....or you have it, but you aren't embracing it and trusting that the difficult questions are out of love....then change it. You need these people in your life. They make you better.