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Daily Strength Blog

EXODUS 18:14, 17

So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good.”

Antisthenes, the cynic philosopher, use to say, “There are only two people who will tell you the truth about yourself–an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.” The true test of a friend is not how frequently he is with you but how honest he is with you.

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was a true friend. When he saw Moses wearing himself out doing something that others could do just as well, he plainly said, “The thing that you do is not good.” His concern for his son-in-law’s health would not allow him to stay quiet.

Telling our friends the truth has its hazards because the truth often hurts. Their initial reaction may not be a positive one. Yet Scripture says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:6). The role of a faithful friend is not always an easy one.

If you find it necessary to share a potentially hurtful truth with your friend, approach the situation only after much prayer. Pray that your attitude would be one of humility and servanthood. Ask God to provide the right situation in which to share the truth.

Seek wisdom in how to best express yourself so that what you say will be viewed by your friend as constructive rather than destructive. Pray, prepare, then just do it. Faithfulness is not gauged by your intentions but by your actions. You never help your friend with good intentions alone, but with good intentions that result in good actions.



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