A Friend is Someone Who Stabs You in the Front!
That’s absolutely one of my favourite sayings: a friend is someone who stabs you in the front. Of course there are plenty of people who’re prepared to stab us in the back … in fact sometimes they seem to be lining up.
Get in the queue, take a number and wait your turn!
But how few people are there in life who love us enough to take the time and the trouble to stab us in the front; to speak the truth to us in love (Eph 4:15); to be prepared to put up with our reaction when we don’t like what we hear about ourselves and how we’re behaving (Prov 15:1)?
Let me introduce you to my friend James. First time I met him was when my wife Jacqui and I wandered into a brand new church back in 2000. He was the only person (!!) who put a smile on his face, shook our hands, told us his name and asked us to sit with him. Then he invited us to have coffee with him after the service.
Of course the following week, we were hoping he’d be there again (you know how it is when you don’t know anyone). He was. Same thing. A decade on, (after my Jacqui of course) he’s my best mate.
We regularly catch up for coffee or lunch. He shares his burdens with me. I share mine with him. And from time to time he stabs me in the front. Hang around someone long enough and you’re going to discover their faults – and I have plenty.
Little by little having James as my friend has changed me. As he’s held a mirror up to my face I’ve discovered things about myself I didn’t realise … and I learned how to deal with them. To be honest, he’s been God’s scrubbing-brush in my life – knocking off some of my rough edges.
I am who I am today in part, because of James. And let me say, he is who he is today in part, because the Lord gave him me. Steel sharpens steel (Prov 27:17).
A friend is definitely someone who’ll stab you in the front.