I’ve heard the statement, and I actually agree with it: “We need to monitor ourselves, always doing honest self-reflection.” We do indeed need to continually check our heart. On the other hand, all of us need an honest, perceptive, prayerful friend who will “get in our face” in love when needed. Here’s why:
- God uses other people to help teach us. He made us with a need for other human beings in our lives (Gen. 2:18)—and they help provoke us to good works (Heb. 10:24). We were never intended to follow God alone.
- Our hearts can be deceptive (Jer. 17:9). We have an amazing capacity to blind ourselves to our own faults. We look in the mirror and see only what we want to see sometimes.
- We can’t see ourselves as others see us. We think we present ourselves one way, but that’s not always the way others view us. We need another set of eyes to help us see ourselves.
- Few of us recognize our own arrogance. Most people I’ve known to speak of their tendency to be arrogant are some of the most humble people I’ve known. Many arrogant people I know don’t even see it (and, given the topic of this post, I realize I may be one of those persons. . .).
- Sometimes, others care about our soul and our sin more than we care ourselves. When that’s the case, we usually need someone who pushes relentlessly into our lives. We don’t need someone who gives up on us easily.
- An “in your face” friend is often also an “on my knees” friend. The same friends who confront us lovingly often regularly intercede for us. They care that much.
- In our sin, we become obstinate. Even if our sin is seemingly private and unknown, it affects us in some way. Others who know us well can recognize that something’s up and challenge us in love.
- Loving confrontation will reveal our heart. If I quickly become defensive and start spouting off rationalizations when a loving friend confronts me, I’ve just revealed another reason I need someone to get in my face.
- Our witness is at stake. As a witness for the good news of Jesus, I would much rather a loving friend confront me before a lost world sees my witness destroyed by my attitudes and my actions.
Who’s this person in your life? If you don’t have this person, ask God to give you such a friend—and be ready for him or her to get in your face.