I’m learning a lesson this week–again. Shamefully, I’ve learned this lesson before and God used it in my life mightily. I thought for sure I would never need to learn this lesson again. But here we are and here I am learning it again.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time asking for help. It makes it hard for the people who know me and love me because they want to help when they see I need it and I don’t make it easy for them. I don’t mean to. They offer, I say I’m all good and they walk away wondering if they should push it or let it go. I know this about myself so I’m working on it. But I have a few friends that have been bold enough to push. They call me out and basically tell me they are helping. They don’t really give me the option to decline. I value this so much because they know me, they know my weakness, and they are coming alongside and helping when I truly need it, even if I don’t know I need it myself. They are sharpening me by reminding me we all need help from time to time. Jesus created us for community and relationship and that’s what we do for one another. We help.

Proverbs 27:17 talks about iron sharpening iron. I see two roles here as it pertains to friendship and we need to be willing to play both. The first role is that of seeing the need or the struggle in another’s life and coming alongside to help, encourage, give wisdom, and listen. The second role I see is being willing to learn and grow when a friend comes to help. Sometimes we get to be role 1 and other times we get to be role 2. This week, I was in role 2. God has given us friendships and relationships to help us grow and learn and share. When we aren’t willing to be part of this, we miss out on a big blessing He has for us. And I think if we search our hearts, the only reason we may refuse the help of a friend is that we are prideful. I don’t want pride to get in the way of blessing. So when my friend texted me, knowing I was sick and would struggle to say yes to help, she made it easy for me. She said she knows I’m a terrible patient and she’d like to bring dinner. And you know what, her truth in love towards me, made me humbly and gratefully accept her help for dinner.

Can I encourage us this week to be willing to allow those that deeply love us to speak into our lives? They know us, they see things others don’t, and out of love they probably have some good things to share. If it hurts, it’s probably not the fault of the loved one talking. It’s probably the awareness that we have some things to work on. It’s usually not the messenger that is hurtful, it’s the message. But if the message is true, then sit with it and grow from it. Thank that loved one for loving you enough to come and share. And when you have to be the one sharing, be mindful of how you’d like to hear a hard thing. God built us for relationships. We need each other.

Blessings as you love and serve with great purpose,

Bonnie Nichols
Women’s Ministry Specialist

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