Some of the best advice I have ever received was given to me years ago by college roommates. We were having one of those late night “heart-to-heart” conversations which just seem to happen in dorm rooms. We were good friends and had shared many experiences together. We felt comfortable in being honest and open with each other. I trusted them and they trusted me. As the conversation moved along, we began to share with each other some of the ways we responded and behaved which we might want to consider changing. It was at that point when I became the focus. Imagine that! My friends had some ideas about how I could improve. In very simple terms, they suggested I should eliminate the word “but” from my speech. Apparently I came across to my dearest friends as always having an “excuse” for my choices and actions. It felt to them like I had a “reason” for everything. “I understand, BUT . . .” was apparently my standard response. I had no idea the impression this it left on my friends.
That moment was a turning point for me. I realized I wanted to follow their advice willingly, cheerfully, and actively. I knew I did not want to ignore or deny it. The choice was mine. Those kinds of conversations are rarely repeated and I quickly understood what they had said was true. I did have an excuse, “a but” or an “if only” or a way out way far too often. After all of these years I still have not forgotten the lesson I only began to learn late that night and am still thankful for the honesty of my close friends.
How about you? Who are the friends that can speak truth into your heart and mind? They are the friends who will become dearer to you as the years go by. They are the ones whom God will use to bring His wisdom and understanding to you. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” – Proverbs 19: 20