July 12

Scripture focus: How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 NIV

I have a friend who called me recently as she headed to a meeting that she really didn't want to attend. In fact, she thought a fender bender would be preferable than showing up at this pow wow. Evidently, she's aware that some hard truths will need to be spoken. She is not expecting the recipient will receive these words with glee.

As an encouragement, I offered up an analogy. "Think of it like this," I began. "You're going to tell this friend some truths that you think will initially sound offensive, right?"

"Yep." She sighed as she imagined how this upcoming hour was going to go. 

"You're worried that she's going to feel offended, and get angry with you, right?" I ask.

"Of course!" She replies.

"Well, imagine that you're going into this meeting and this same friend walks out of the bathroom towards you. As she winds her way through the crowded coffee shop, you can't help but notice that people are staring at her. Soon you realize why. She has tucked her skirt into her hose and the whole world now knows her preferred style of under panties. Got the picture?"   

"Yes, although I wish I didn't!" She chuckles.

" When your friend walks up and sits down, you will have no choice but to lean in real close and tell her that she has just shown the world her personal preference for Hannah Montana undies. You're not going to want to tell her this information. But you will, because she is your friend and you can't bear the thought of her going one more second with her skirt hiked up and tucked in."

"True enough."

"Well, sometimes even the hard truths like you're going to have to share could ultimately seem like sweet honey to the mouth. As you share, the Holy Spirit might confirm these truths to her, and it could change her life forever. She could repent! She could trust God and believe that he has something more in store for her than a life filled with unconscious living. Not only that, but for you, this is the good life. You're getting to consciously decide to treat your friend kindly. Whether or not she recognizes that at the moment really isn't your problem."

We hung up and she hung in with her friend. The conversation went beautifully. Still friends, still learning from each other, still pausing to prepare and trying out new dance steps as both try to learn to move to the unforced rhythms of grace found in a life lived God's way.