A TRUE FRIEND - Sunday's Dose - 27th November 2011

Sunday's Dose - 27th November 2011


"A friend loves at all times. . ." - (Proverbs 17:17, NIV).

Years ago a friend was talking to me about some people being "cursed
with the affliction to give advice." At the time I had no idea what
he was talking about. Sure sounded strange to me. Now I understand.

According to Webster's Dictionary, people "offering. . .unwanted
advice" are officious. They can also be obnoxious. Such advice can be
and often is a thinly veiled criticism.

I'm not talking about going to a lawyer or an accountant or a car
mechanic or whatever where we need and are asking for professional
advice. What I'm talking about is when we share our struggles and
feelings with a friend and they have a compulsion to tell us what we
should or shouldn't be doing, or to "fix" us. They are in fact
putting us down in that they are assuming that they know our needs
better than we know them ourselves.

Even when some people want us to tell them what to do, it is a much
greater help not to tell them what we think they should do, but to
help THEM come up with their own options and solutions. This is what
a good counselor does. He helps clients see what their options are
and decide for themselves what they need to do.

What I want from a friend when I am feeling in the pits is someone to
listen to me with their heart, give me their presence, and accept me
as I am—and let me know they care—without giving any kind of advice
or trying to fix me.

These friends can be rare. Even rarer is the friend who knows how to
weep with those who weep.

In his book, Out of Solitude, Henri Nouwen wrote, "When we honestly
ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we
often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions,
or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds
with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in
a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of
grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not
healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a
friend who cares."

May God help us all to be this kind of a friend.

Prayer: "Almighty God, please give me an understanding, caring, and
compassionate heart and help me to learn how to listen to my friends'
pain, to accept them as they are, to communicate to them that I truly
care— without having a compulsion to give unsolicited advice or try
to fix them. To my friends in need please help me to be a friend
indeed. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus loving Name I Pray, Amen."

Have a Blessed Sunday and God Bless you all.
Courtesy : Daily Dose Devotionals Team