Raise your hand (or an emoji hand in the comments below! ) if you’ve ever attended a Bible study or coffee date and found that the conversation turns into a very long venting session disguised as “prayer requests”?
No matter what you are going through in your life, when you have a captive audience who engages with your story, asks you questions, and gives you advice, it’s human nature to keep talking and talking. It feels so good to process it all, doesn’t it?!?!?
Here’s the thing: We are always surrounded with a bunch of people who will tell us what we want to hear. They have a genuine heart to help and want to validate you and let know you are heard and supported.
But do you have anyone who will tell you what you NEED to hear?
I was in a Bible study with a small group of wonderful ladies for more than 10 years. We met every week. The more time you spend with a group of people, the more comfortable you get sharing the little pieces of your heart that you might otherwise guard from people who you don’t know quite as well.
In any relationship, the more real you are, the deeper your relationship becomes, and the more you trust and value the other person.
Each week we’d spend time doing prayer requests, and as I mentioned above, this well-intentioned time often became a group therapy session. We’d take turns each week, depending on whose needs were greatest. We shed many tears and laughed belly laughs, counseled each other and shared our lives. Things were shared in that room knowing that it was a safe place and that our private emotions and confessions were only staying in that room.
In one particularly difficult season of my life, many of the weeks were centering on me. We’d talk and talk, going around the room my friends would offer support and advice. But somehow, the more and more I talked, the bigger the problems seemed.
The act of talking about my problems with no source of absolute truth was making everything seem worse than it actually was.
Until one day, one of the older and much wiser women in the group showed up at my door unexpectedly. As I let her in, she pushed past me with her Bible in hand and says, ” Alright Angie, let’s sit down.”
I couldn’t say no!
This dear, wonderful, sweet woman sat with me, read me scripture and told me exactly what God’s Word had to say about what I was going through. A lot of it was really hard to hear, but as resistant as I was to listen, when she left that day, I felt like a weight had been lifted.
She didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. She didn’t nod politely and tell me I was justified to be as angry as I was. She showed up armed with the Word of Christ ready to share with me the stark and bold truth that I actually needed to hear. The things that no one else was brave enough to tell me.
Your good friends will always have your back and will always be in your corner. They will validate your feelings and make you feel heard.
But I’m here to tell you first-hand…
Your TRUE friends will point you in the direction of Biblical truth, no matter how hard it is to hear.
And I am extremely grateful to have those people in my life!
I’ve come up with a short list of four questions that I use to gauge whether or not I should go to a person for true and honest, Biblical advice. I invite you to spend some time thinking about these questions and applying them to your own close circle of friends. Make a short list of who you can count on for sound Biblical truth no matter what circumstances you are facing in your life.
♥️ *This doesn’t mean if your friends don’t fit this that you can’t have deep conversations! Just gauge their advice and be careful not to fall into the enemy’s trap of gossip and slander under the disguise of “venting” (Oh my goodness am I guilty of this one!) * ♥️
4 Questions to find your Godly support people
Question #1: Does this person pray intentionally and seek to hear from God?
Question #2: Does this person know and understand God’s Word?
Question #3: Does this person seek truth over justification of their opinion?
Question #4: Will this person tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear?
I love this quote from Paul David Tripp:
“Love doesn’t go passive and stay silent in the face of wrong. Love moves toward you because you are wrong and need to be rescued from you. In moving toward you, love is willing to make sacrifices and endure hardships so that you may be right again and be reconciled to God and others. God graces us with this kind of love so that we may be tools of this love in the lives of others.”
A true friend wants you to be delivered, not just pacified in your weakness and pain.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32Honest, Biblical truth will grow you through your problems and guide you back to the safety and peace of walking in God’s will for your life. Don’t be afraid to tell these special people who they are to you, and tell them straight out that you need good, Godly counsel.And next time you find yourself in one of those conversations disguised as prayer requests or venting, try to be that friend, too. Following the truth will shine the light of Jesus to each of us when we need Him most ♥️!
Besides talking to my friends, I tend to process things through writing. I love this little pocket journal that doubles as a wallet! I can carry it in my purse and anytime I see a quote I love or want to remember something I see, I can quick write it down. Because nothing is quite like putting a pen to paper. My phone lists can’t compete sometimes.
*the cute little notebook isn’t included, but if you need one when you order, let me know and I’ll see what I have on hand for you! Don’t want to leave you journal-less Otherwise if you want to pick a custom pocket journal, any passport-sized notebook will fit and insider tip…Tj Maxx always has super cute ones!
Oh, that reminds me…your passport will fit perfectly in here,too! So it’s great for travel
Great advice and everyone needs a true friend to tell you the truth. To tell you “quit your complaining because it just isn’t as bad as you think”, and if you trust and believe in God, then in prayer you turn your issues over to Him, and get on living your life. Your four justifications for trust are correct Angie, and please keep on writing. I love waking up to your devotional each Sunday. You’re one of those friends who tells it like it is each Sunday. Thank you.
Ps…did I know the “older woman” who barged in with her Bible????
Dan thank you so much for the encouragement! I will do my very best to keep it coming. But what if I run out of things to say?
I’m NEVER at a loss of words 🙂
This older woman was a good friend, sidekick if you will, to the woman who I’m guessing you are referring to. One of the three musketeers of our Bible study!!
I sure miss those ladies so very much ♥️
OOH!!! Dear girl, have you been looking over my shoulder??? I’ve tried to be the truthful friend. It has cost me my daughter. She has found a “friend” who tells her what she wants to hear. Now Dad & I are the worst people in the world. Every bad thing in her life is our fault. OK! enough ‘pity party’ The truly sad thing, is she has a 10 year old (& 2 adult children) She studies scripture with her ‘friend’. She was enrolled in a college course to become a hospice chaplain. So I know she has a ‘truth’ base.
Thank you I needed to hear that I haven’t been completely wrong in trying to teach her the true way to walk. You are such a blessing to me. AND I’ll just bet, lots of others. Be blessed & stay safe
I’m just now seeing this, thank you so much for sharing! We all tend to default to our “itching ears” so just keep speaking truth in love to your daughter. I pray your relationship can be restored ♥️