Recently this happened with me and a friend. As it turns out, I felt that there were some areas in which we were not being upfront and completely honest with each other. We avoided the issue at hand and began to make assumptions about how the other felt. Rather than approaching her with love and maturity to work out the issue, my pride got in the way and I allowed it to sit there day after day, week after week and sadly month after month. It eventually hindered the close friendship we once shared and threatened to destroy other relationships as well.
In my arrogance, I thought I knew exactly what was bothering her. I thought for sure that there was something wrong with her. To my surprise, she confronted me as best as she knew how about some changes she had noticed in me. I cautiously listened not only to her words but to her tone and the motive behind what she was sharing. I admit that initially, I was reluctant to see some of the areas that needed to be changed in me. I subtly tried to justify in my mind why her perspective of me could have changed so drastically. However I quickly realized that at that very moment I had a choice to make. I could choose to continue making excuses for myself or take it with a grain of salt and grow from it. Although it felt as if she was picking at my scab and I was afraid of the scar it could potentially leave behind, I knew the band-aid needed to come off. My wound needed to heal.
Today I am able to look back at that conversation we had over a nice, hot cup of coffee and an iced green tea lemonade and see how beneficial it was for us to talk candidly with each other. I appreciate her honesty with me and although it may have stung a bit, it has helped me to learn and grow from it. After we had that conversation, I have seen how it has strengthened our relationship because I chose to make necessary changes. I now understand why Solomon wrote these words in Proverbs 27:6, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
I am thanking God for the life of my friend who loved me enough to share the truth even though she knew it could hurt me. I pray that others would always feel free to be themselves and not feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me as to not to hurt my feelings. It may take me a lifetime to learn how to do this but with God's help it's possible.