A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
(Arnold H. Glasow)
I've heard it said that it takes a very long time to grow a friend. I wonder how much time it takes to grow a best friend? A true friend that sticks with you through thick and thin - the good and the bad. I like the idea of a true friend getting in our way every time we might be going down a path that we would best leave untraveled. Isn't that what friends do for each other - looking out for the best interests of the other? That kind of friend is hard to find. I would like to suggest it is not that we 'find' a friend like this, but rather that this type of a friendship is 'grown' over time.
The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger. (Proverbs 25:11-12)
The timely reprimand of a friend - we somehow have missed the importance of helping each other remain on the right path in society today. We 'overlook' things right and left - things we should have taken notice of and did not 'feel it was our place'. Whenever we do, we give 'license' to that individual to repeat those actions time and time again. The danger in 'overlooking' something that is harmful within a relationship is the long-term damage that occurs when the wrong path is taken repeatedly. I understand we are to turn the other cheek, but to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to something we should notice is kind of selfish on our parts.
We sometimes don't feel 'comfortable' getting in the way of someone about to make a really bad move, don't we? Why? It could be we don't feel there is a 'depth' to our relationship that would allow us to put ourselves out there, or perhaps we want to, but we don't know how it will be received. I have heard some 'hard words' from some friends over my lifetime, but if I were totally honest today, I'd have to admit each one of those 'hard words' was spot on! They needed to be spoken and they also needed to be heard. Was it easy for those friends to speak them into my life? Not likely. Was it needed? You betcha!
Someone about to go down a wrong path isn't always aware they are treading on thin ice. They don't know the dangers they are about to face because somehow they have been convinced it is a good idea to head that way in the first place. Do you realize that every lie is 'believable' because there is always some portion of truth in that lie? Don't you think the devil knows that, too? Not every path presented as the 'right one' will truly be the right one for us. A friend who sticks close by will notice when there are 'inconsistencies' - they can oftentimes see the portion that is a lie and that which is the truth.
Why? They are standing back - observing the bigger picture. Maybe this is why God intends for us to have these good friendships - to give us a broader perspective so we don't stumble into things that we should avoid. Good friendships take a long time to grow, but when they have taken root there is nothing that can separate. Even when we are about to say or do something that we would later regret, they are standing in our path, reminding us of the importance of making the right choice. This type of friend is indeed hard to find. I have mine. How about you?