A true friend....

Sometimes, Adam and I enjoy watching the Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday nights. Although we don't watch it every week (staying up 'till 11 after a crazy Sunday isn't always possible), there is one part of the show that Adam and I ALWAYS laugh at. If you have never seen it, here is a quick summary. At the end of each episode, Donald Trump fires one of the celebrities, and they are immediately sent home. While the rest of the relieved contestants leave the room, Mr. Trump looks at his assistants (usually his son or daughter) and says something like, "That was a tough decision!". The assistants always respond with "Yes, it was a difficult decision, but you definitely made the right choice tonight!" Never once have I heard them disagree with the outcome. They respond with the same total support every time no matter what the decision!
It caused me to start thinking about what I should be looking for in a true friend. Our first inclination is to desire friends just like Donald Trump's assistants. We want friends who support and agree with us no matter what! We enjoy being flattered and followed unconditionally. However, the Bible describes a different kind of friend! Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." If we are to be sharp tools for the Lord's use we need to be sharpened by other believers. It would be silly to try to sharpen one of my kitchen knives with a soft pot holder. (It wouldn't help the knife OR the pot holder!) Instead I use a sharpening stone to file the blade! Although a stone is hard, it is actually good for the knife. Without it the knife becomes dull and useless!
It is vital to surround ourselves with friends that support but also challenge us when we need it! Otherwise, we become dull tools that can't be used to our full potential. A true friend knows when to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)! This type of person is not easily found and should be cherished when they come into our lives!
I hadn't specifically planned to write about friendship today, but I think that the Lord laid it on my heart for a specific reason. Today is my best friend's birthday! She and I have been friends since seventh grade. In fact a couple of months ago I wrote about how much I appreciate my BFF. She sharpens me and encourages me every time we talk! I thank God for true friends, and want to wish Andrea a very happy birthday!!

Challenge: Are you being the right type of friend to others? Are you the pot holder or the sharpening stone?