…………I looked down at my brown cowgirl boots that I’ve had now for four years and haven’t polished even once.
Last Sunday, a man in our church took me by the side after our communion meal and said:
“I’m going to tell you something that my dad always told me.”
“Oh really?” I asked, curious as to what he’d say.
“Always keep your boots polished,” he smiled.
I looked down at my brown cowgirl boots that I’ve had now for four years and haven’t polished even once.
“Oh yeah, they do need polishing, huh?” I said.
I looked at his black boots and they were in great shape.
That was all the conversation entailed. The funny thing is that I could’ve taken offense to his comment or been embarrassed but I knew better than that. He was telling me the truth as my elder and someone I admire and respect.
That encounter reminded me of the precious gift of truth-tellers in our lives. The book of Proverbs talks a lot about being cautious of the friend that only speaks flattery to you with their lips. That only tells you what you want to hear – not what you need to hear, sugarcoating reality.
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A true friend will openly correct you from a genuine, caring heart (Proverbs 27:5-6). You can trust this kind of friend because ultimately, she cares for you and has your best interest at heart. She’s looking out for you and wants success and blessing in your life.
But, ouch, correction isn’t fun! It really stings initially. Our pride wants to protect the places we’d prefer to not let anyone know about.
A friend that corrects you is one of the greatest gifts you could ever have in your life. Thank the Lord for such friend. Be that kind of friend in return – one who doesn’t simply hide what needs to be said but will tell the truth in love from a genuine and caring heart.
I’m grateful for how God has used friends in my life over the years to sharpen and encourage me in my faith when I was teetering and open my eyes to behaviours and habits I didn’t see. I thank God for friends who’ve shown me scriptures about why I can’t put my hope in the things of this world, but I can in Christ alone. He’s used friends to help strengthen my marriage and my relationship with my kids and to remind me of his goodness when I was falling short on grace. He’s used friends to show me love and not condemnation (after already beating myself up a thousand times).
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Meanwhile, by all means, if your boots need polishing too, go spoil yourself!
This article was written by Samantha Krieger, a pastor’s wife and mother of 4. Samantha is passionate about helping women live out their faith in real life. She is the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches.