6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27:6

We live in an age where personal accountability is a rare quality. Often people mistake accountability for controlling behaviour or finding faults. And unfortunately, there are those who misuse it to abuse others by taking advantage of their vulnerability.

Personal accountability is crucial for your growth and well-being. It involves a willingness to open up and share things about yourself, and at the same time, willing to receive correction and encouragement. A very good friend never flatters, but will say what you need to hear, and not what you want to hear. While you may not necessarily like what you hear, but believe me, you will be better off hearing the truth from a true friend, even when it hurts than hearing nice things from someone who never means what they say.

Some Christians are afflicted with “terminal niceness”. They would rather tolerate you than actually accepting you. It is a friendship of convenience. They act really nice and pleasant when they are with you but never really help you identify where you need to focus or improve on. As such, it is a cruel friendship. This is because when the friendship becomes too tenuous to sustain, they will choose to end it without saying why or give some poor excuses and walk away. If they were to say something, it implies they want to work things out with you. And because they didn’t, it leaves you with the feeling that you are not enough or you should have been more.

The wisdom of Proverbs tells us to be accountable to the right people, and not just to anyone.
It is good for you to have at least one person who genuinely sees the best in you, and wants the best for you. Such a friend is God’s loving agent of care and comfort. Be open to hearing what he or she has to say, even if it was unsolicited or unexpected. It’s never nice or pleasant being confronted on character issues. It hurts your ego and bruises your pride. But if you have a teachable heart to hear what God is saying through a faithful friend, you will thrive and grow increasingly healthy in all aspects of life.

© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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