StarbucksDo you frequent Starbucks? I must admit that I have the Starbucks app on my phone because I’m in there so often. It’s not that I’m loyal to Starbucks. They just happen to be on just about every corner in Atlanta. It’s a convenience thing. I just spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I love local, mom and pop, coffee shops (30)

Coffee shops are a great place to meet people. They’re a fabulous place to write because people won’t disturb you but you have the buzz of life going on around you.

I do remember a time several years ago when one of my very best friends called me and invited me to Starbucks, her treat. Now, that should have been a clue this wasn’t just two friends hanging out to catch up for old times. She had a purpose in the meeting.

We got our drinks, settled in our seats and it quickly became apparent why we were there. There was something in my life, in my character, that was causing people to push back. She loved me and saw the call on my life, so she pointed it out in love.

OUCH! That’s a hard pill to swallow. I know it’s probably a shocker to you too. All joking aside, that day goes down in my list of things I’m grateful for in life. Because she loved me, she refused to allow me to stay where I was. She saw the potential in my life and she refused to let anything stand in the way of it, even me.

We all need people in our lives who love us enough to tell us the hard things. Those things may be about our character, our actions, our doctrine. It doesn’t matter.

Proverbs 27:6 says,

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiples kisses.”

We all have enough people in our lives to tell us what we want to hear, as the saying goes to tickle our ears. What we all need EARis one or two people in our lives that love us enough to call out things that could derail us. There are some requirements, though:

  • They have to be friends. You can’t just go up to strangers or acquaintances and point out the things you think are wrong in their lives. That could get you physically hurt.
  • It must be done in love, not retaliation or anger because they did something to make you angry.

This week I’ve been on the other side of that discussion. One of my girls was making some rather dangerous choices that were sure to derail her recovery. I love her and want her to have the life God intended for her. I had to sit down with her and have an honest conversation. At one point she said,

Susan, you’re my friend. You’re supposed to tell me you agree with me. You’re supposed to have my back. Right now you’re making me angry and I don’t like you very much.”

I told her I was okay with that, because she was too important to me. Ironically, as we ended the conversation shes said,

I don’t like you very much, you know that. You’ve made me angry. I love you and I’ll talk to you later.”

She got it. She understood my words were not meant to harm her rather protect her.

2 Timothy 4:3 says,

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;”

It’s always easy to find people to agree with you when you’re doing something you shouldn’t or living as the world lives. It’s hard to find people who will stand with you when you’re standing for truth, for what is right. And harder still to find friends who love you enough to risk the friendship if that’s what it takes to protect you from yourself.

Do you have those kinds of people in your life? If not, it might be time to start looking for some.