Recently, I tried on some black pants to go with my new black glittery TOMS that I got for my birthday. I looked in the mirror and felt pretty good about the pants.
I opened the dressing room door and took a good look in the big mirror. I asked the college-aged girl a few feet in front of me if she would give me her honest opinion about my pants. She stared at them for a while and said:
“I don’t LOVE them. You know, you and me, we kind of have short legs, and I don’t know. I don’t LOVE them.”
I was a little surprised by her response but took in what she was saying.
“Okay, yeah, thanks for being honest. I really appreciate it.”
She nodded her head and went back into her dressing room. My pride was a little crushed but I loved her honesty.
The black pants I had on were skinny jeans and I happened to have several pairs in my closet that I wear regularly. I went back into my dressing room and took a harder look in the mirror. I discovered that the black pants really weren’t flattering on me. And none of the skinny jeans I’d owned fit that t.i.g.h.t.!
The college girl was right after all.
The more I live my life, the more grateful I am to have others who will tell me not just what I want to hear, but who will tell me the truth in love. Even if it stings a little. Okay, a lot.
Because when we know the Truth, it guides us closer to healing.
Let me share a story.
One of my closest friends, Julia, and her husband Jay, were over for dinner at our place one night several years ago. We were laughing and having a good time. But in the course of our time together, at one point, my actions and tone of voice were very disrespectful to my husband Jeremiah.
The evening carried on and before Jay and Julia were about to leave, Julia approached me one on one and said she noticed my behavior and how it made Jeremiah look bad. In a loving, caring way, she helped open my eyes to my sin.
It hurt deeply to hear her words. I felt exposed and it was humbling. But I was able to tell her flat out that I struggled with disrespect and not knowing how to communicate my frustrations with my husband.
Julia encouraged me to talk to Jeremiah and really work on that area in my life. I asked her to hold me accountable. I knew how serious it was to find healing from this sin in my marriage.
Her willingness to speak truth into my life brought me closer to grappling with my sin and fighting it.
Over the years, I often remember that life-changing evening and as a wonderful friend, Julia has consistently held me accountable and I appreciate how open our relationship is. While I’m still imperfect at times, I’ve been able to see my sin clearer and make the necessary changes to build up our marriage, instead of tearing it down.
Indeed, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is our ultimate healer, but by His grace He chooses to use other people in our life to help fashion us more into his image.
Are you speaking the truth to those you love? Are you allowing them to tell you the truth? Maybe you have a story of your own…
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Prov. 27:17