Q. How did you resolve your feelings with your friends' honesty? Did you see her as being harsh?
This question came after a women's seminar in which I mentioned I had a friend who, while others praised my actions, would often say, "I like the other BJ, better." And ultimately went on to say, "you know you're emotionally constipated, right?" And I would say, 'dang must you be so crass and I would walk away wondering what she meant.
My husband always says, "people don't get upset over nothing, they get upset over something". So did it bug me? Absolutely! My initial, prideful response, though never spoken aloud was, "excuse me, do you know who I am?" Where is the praise, the honor, the respect due me.+ Again these are words never spoken, but God was using this truth to reveal hidden grips of darkness within me. It sat like a pebble stuck in my shoe that I couldn't quite dislodge. God wanted it to bring me discomfort.
I've since learned that one of our biggest mistakes is we use discomfort as a barometer of whether or not something or someone should be in our lives. But if everything begins and ends with God we must go to Jesus' example of the necessity of discomfort.
When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, he went willingly to the place of crushing. His place of discomfort. The olive grove served one purpose, which was to press olives until the oil flowed. God places us in our gardens of pressing, not to destroy us, but in order for the oil to flow. And as we know, the anointing is in the oil.
So back to the original question, how did I resolve my feelings with my friend's honesty? I embraced my friend's honesty as the depth of her love and care for me. We laughed about it, joked about it, I prayed about it and wrestled with it. Because there is a sliver of truth in every joke, I asked God to show me the truth. Could she have said it more gently, sure, but that wasn't the nature of our relationship. So there was no reason for her to tread cautiously now. Bottom line, if you're drowning you don't care how someone jumps into the water to save you, as long as they jump. She said things no one else dared to say. If our relationship could not withstand her speaking her truth, whether I agreed with it or not, then I needed to re-assess the relationship. As a part of my inner circle, I trusted she could see what I could not, so I listened and fought to change.
I pray this is taken as respectfully as it is meant, but I no longer allow myself the luxury of being offended. For it is an excuse to hold on to my position. And I am determined to rid myself of anything that blocks my relationship with God. So when God asks, do you want to get well? he doesn't ask how or at the hands of whom he should bring it about. So any offense towards them is ultimately an offense towards Him.
Psalms 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and NOTHING shall offend them."