A lot of people seem to think that with love, pain should be absent; that with true love comes peace, happiness, and contentment. There’s a view which many people hold today, and that is that love shouldn’t cause pain. It is thought by many that love should overlook faults; love praises and flatters. Love only gives feelings of self-worth, satisfaction, and importance. It seems like people think that those who care the most are the ones who shower them with compliments. They view flattery as if it equals love. They think, “This person is so nice. I feel so good about myself when I’m with them, and they make me feel so loved! This is how it ought to be.” However, the Bible tells us this:
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
It appears like the majority of the world isn’t grasping that true, Christ-like love hurts sometimes. We forget that having true love and care for someone includes telling the real, raw, honest-to-goodness truth. It can feel like a punch in the stomach sometimes. It can cause hearts to sink, and tears to spill over. Yes, love hurts – for the sake of helping.
I am thankful for friends & a fiancé whom I can count on to confront me when I’m screwing up. I’m thankful, even though it hurts & is humbling, that they will gently tell me the rough truth.
I remember a few months ago Jay told me I was a mean and disrespectful fighter. That was the last thing I wanted to hear (especially in the middle of a frustrating conversation), but it needed to be said. If he hadn’t said that, I would have continued fighting in a mean, rude, and hurtful manner. I remember telling Jay close to the beginning of our relationship that if he didn’t step up and learn how to lead, I couldn’t continue dating him. Did he want to hear that? Absolutely not. It probably stung – really bad. But if I never said that, he wouldn’t have seen that he was lacking in that area, and that he needed to make the effort to change and grow.
I’m thankful for the hurtful – and very helpful – blows of being told the truth.
Iron sharpening iron is painful, but necessary. Through the process of being sharpened, we come to better know what being a reflection of Christ looks like. Rough edges are smoothed through a sometimes very sad and humbling experience. It hurts our pride when our nicks and dents are revealed by means of truth being spoken to us. But how blessed are we to be able to step into the Lord’s light, and rid of those things! What if no one spoke into our lives, telling us that we have things that need to be straightened out? What if our friends only ever complimented and flattered, never correcting and confronting? What if we never told our significant other that they acted wrongly while angry at us? What if we never confronted our friend who was indulging in an addiction to porn or alcohol?
No sharpening would happen.
Christ is freedom, because he is truth. The truth opens our eyes to painful facts – ones that make us want to hide. Ones that make us feel ashamed, and ones that affect those around us. However, it also opens our eyes to many wonderful things, like eternal life and a never-ending love! Praise God.
True love hurts – aren’t you glad?