The Sign of a True Friend

Recently I was confronted by a friend about something that in the past was a dangerous, debilitating, and ultimately deadly issue. My friend had the courage, the boldness, and yes, the love, to tell me that I had allowed the issue back into my life. She spoke to me in such a firm and straightforward way that I simply could not manipulate or move around the truth. She was not concerned with my response or if I might offend her or retaliate. She was focused entirely on being a messenger for God and delivering the truth. If the truth be known, people have made comments about this issue for probably a year now, and yet they were merely comments. This was confrontation. My friend told me what she saw and told me she believed I was in trouble and that I needed to go to someone specific for accountability. Furthermore, she made it clear in conversations afterward that she had her eyes on me and that I needed to be very serious about addressing the issue. In my estimate, this woman of God displayed to me the sign of a true friend. What exactly is that sign?

In my experience, the sign of a true friend demonstrates the following:
1. The person is more concerned with pleasing God than pleasing man.
2. The person is willing to risk rejection to speak the truth.
3. The person is dedicated to speaking the truth in love, or at the very least willing to learn how to do so.
4. The person will uphold God’s Word above what is popular in the world. 
5. The person will not merely make comments, but speak truth.
6. The person will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as best the person knows how in when and how to confront, and to discern whether the person is the one sent by God to do just this. 
7. The person is willing to follow up even at the risk of retaliation.
8. The person’s greatest aspiration is to love God with the whole heart and the person’s neighbor as the person’s self. 
I confess that just weeks ago (before the confrontation), I had considered ending the friendship. I had been upset about something, and felt perhaps it was best to discontinue being friends. In retrospect, I am quite sure the devil wanted to wreck the friendship because the Lord has been working in and through us both to bless one another. I thank God I sought the counsel of the Lord and followed His advice. I realized I did not need to end the friendship, but to make changes in my attitude and actions toward my friend.
Through my submission to God, He was able to use this very friend to bring to my attention something critical to my life and well being. 
Are you a true friend? Do you have true friends in your life? Are you willing to tell the truth in love no matter the cost? Or, are you more concerned with how you might be perceived, what you might lose, or pleasing the people around you rather than being a messenger for the Lord? 
I have a long way to go, and I thank God for every precious friend the Lord has sent my way. 
Most importantly, I am thankful for my best friend in the world. Jesus.

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. 

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