Saturday, October 18, 2014
~ "Friends and enemies..."
I think there is a fine line in that verse. Often, as humans, we go beyond that "helpful" suggestion to a place that is bitter and mean. I've experienced it on more than one occasion. Friends can wound with the best of intentions, they can also wound with the intent to control. That's when the line has been crossed.
We tend to hear what we want to hear, even if an enemy is the only one who will say it. A friend's advice, no matter how painful, is much better. Knowing who is a friend and who is an enemy is the discerning part of any inner conflict.
There are ways in which we learn who to trust and who to avoid. That knowledge comes from experience, it also comes from prayer. We can live our entire life in the company of enemies who we believe to be our friends, only to find out that we are only using us to bolster their own warped self image. There are those, too, who profess to love us, yet silently devise ways to take more and more from us, leaving us isolated and abused emotionally.
Be cautious of who you allow to offer you advice. Be even more cautious of the advice you follow. Many of the worst decisions made come at the advice of others without thought to the long term effect those decisions will have. Pray. Ask the Lord for guidance. Never act on one person's advice alone. Act on what the Lord tells you - and he will tell you, if you listen.