The people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. Oswald Chambers
What think you?
I read this and contemplated the countless times I’ve called my good friends and complained over my lot in life.
I realized something really important.
The friends who love me most are those who are hardest on me. (Which begs the question, can we as adults, be “parented” by our friends?)
From where I sit, a good friend is one who listens to my moans and groans just long enough for me to know they’ve heard and felt my pain before they zing me (in the most loving way possible) with the hard truth of taking responsibility for my attitude and actions.
The zing is the key element of a true friend.
Rather than seeking out tea and sympathy (or a couple of cake pops as depicted here for some instant happy relief of whatever is hurting me) I know that my real friends will give me what I need most not what I want most.
The distinction here is not stopping with mere kindness and compassion when a friend comes with genuine pain and suffering. It is offering much needed doses of tough love that will fortify your friend through the hard hours ahead.
Only truth (spoken in love) can accomplish that robust feat.
Squishy warm fuzzy feelings are all good…but they rarely supply what we need most in our hours of darkness.
So here’s to good friends who don’t stop at offering us a cup of sympathy but take their love a step further by spoon feeding us strong doses of truth that will strengthen us for the days ahead.