Tag Archive: wounds from a friend


duncshower

This is my buddy Dunc, who is my best friend from school and who tbV and i are currently staying with while we try find a place to live [as well as his wife Megan and sons Connor and Ryan].

Three times a week he intentionally causes me a lot of pain…

…and it’s great!

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Well, to be more accurate he ensures that i am in the place of pain.

i usually use that verse from Proverbs 27.6 in the Bible to talk about accountability and someone who is not scared to love you well by telling you when you are doing something foolish or hurtful. But in this case it’s slightly different, although i guess still a form of accountability, as Duncan is my 100 push-ups partner.

When i was in Stellenbosch i did this before about four years ago, and i think both of us are quite skeptical as to how i could have finished it back then, but Dunc was doing it when we moved in and so i joined him.

It is a six week program that you can find at hundredpushups.com although the reality is that if you don’t complete a week you do it again and so we are on week ten or something but in week 5 of the program. Today we attempted sets of 20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22 and then as many as you can with a minimum of 50. All with 45 second intervals in between.

i use the word ‘attempted’ as mine looked a lot more like 20, 20, 24, 24, 13, 13, 13, 18 which as you can see is far off the mark.

But it is also 145 pushups in about 15 minutes, which is not such a bad thing. Especially as we go on to do five different arm muscle builders with some hand weights.

What makes it easier though, and far more enjoyable, is that i have a good buddy doing it with me. And even more than that, no matter how crap i am, he is constantly cheering me on and telling me how good i’m doing. He nailed all of them except the last one and i was short on four of the sets [having given blood yesterday, as he kept telling me, may have had some small effect] and yet he keeps on shouting out, “Good work, buddy. You’re doing great.”

pushups

We’re probably a couple of weeks away from bottles though.

So friends who push you to be the best you can be, who hold you accountable, who challenge you three times a week to do something that will stretch you and cause you a fair deal of pain but which will have good results in the end… you can’t buy these with money.

And i truly do have some of the best friends in the world…

Who hurts you? i would LOVE to hear about someone in the comments section who is your Duncan… tell us a story!

And of course, who are YOU Duncan to?

i am participating in NaBloPoMo which is known as National Blog Posting Month in which the invitation or challenge is to post a blog every day [except on day 2 of the month when you are camping in a place with no internet signal even for your cute little hotspot device!] and for this one i decided to take up one of the prompts they provided:

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

mentori wouldn’t say i have a mentor. in fact the only story i tell of having a mentor is one i had for literally five minutes. a great pastory guy by the name of Craig Duvel who i have grown to respect in leaps and bounds over the years but who always lived in a province far away from mine [and since he moved to my province, i moved country so that didn’t help a lot]. i remember sitting with him at a camp and i think it was related to my struggles with pornography/masturbation at the time but his advice was, ‘Keep a Short Account with God’ and i have used that and shared that many times since then. He told a story of how one morning at 3am he was woken up and remembered some unconfessed sin in his life and how he went to the lounge and fell facedown before God and made it right with God… the idea being that you start a new day with a fresh slate not being burdened or judged by your brokenness or any recent mess you may have been the cause of. And it works. When we allow sin to build up, it is like building a tab at a bar – it gets to the point where it is more natural to say, “Stick it on my tab” than it is to really be grieved by it or want to deal with it. So any time you become aware of sin in your life, or anything breaking intimate relationship with Him then right there and then, or as soon as possible, deal with it, make right and if you need to make right with people too, then do it as soon as you can.

so only 5 minutes of mentoring, but it was completely helpful.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE MENTORS GONE?

for me it has usually been a story of either not recognising any older men in the contexts i am in who i respect in the sense that i would want them mentoring me, or that those people who i have seen with those things  just seeming so incredibly busy with so much other stuff that they would not be suitable candidates. i definitely had a mentor in my earliest youth leading role in terms of helping me lead and grow in confidence and maturity in a lot of leadership related areas, but i think to some extent we had a difference of vision and ethos and so it didn’t feel like the kind of mentoring i imagine, but i am completely grateful for his presence in my life back then and owe a lot to him.

but in the absence physical mentors in terms of men who are older than me pouring into my life it has become a combination of literary mentors [so the influence of passionate men of God like Keith Green and John Wimber and others who spoke into my life through the pages of books], peer mentors [so being co-mentored by good friends of a more similar age or even younger like Sean Du Toit, Bruce Collins, Rob Lloyd, Andy Pitt and i could go on] and also through men like Paul and Peter, David and Moses, and of course Jesus Christ. none of these were formal mentoring relationships, but through watching and listening and late night conversations and hearing stories of and from, these people spoke [and continue to speak] loudly into my life.

‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ [Proverbs 27.6]

i have absolutely loved this verse and i stand by it. if you do not have people in your life who have the invitation to speak honestly [and cause something that feels like a wound cos who likes rebuke ever?] then you are doing yourself an absolute disservice. Rob Lloyd has been one of those voices in my life [his description of me as reminding him of Paul – “passionate yet tactless” – is one that stands strong in my memory] and i have so much love and appreciation towards him for that and taking a quick look over myself, all of those bruises have healed in such a way that i can’t even remember where they were [but the lessons have stuck!]

so be mentored! it is so important – any fool who thinks they can walk this life well by themselves is one. and a good way to start is by asking – is there a man/woman you deeply respect or feel you can learn something from? Ask them if they will have coffee with you once a week, once a month. [hint: pay for it! This is completely something worth investing in – for the price of a regular cup of coffee or breakfast you can have your life revolutionised? seems about right] The worst they can do is say no. [Well, i guess the worst they can do is whip out a swordfish and carve their initials in your face but if that happens it is an indication that they were possibly not the right person to be mentoring you?]

and if you can’t find someone to ask then do what i did in terms of finding mentors and role models elsewhere. be careful not to pedestalise them – the closer you get to those ‘perfect’ people who are so close to God and so good at life, the more flawed you will see them to be, so stay grounded in admiring the Jesus in them and learning from that.

try and be mentored by a diverse crowd. if you are a white male [as i am] and only invite white males to mentor you [through the books you read, music you listen to, preaches you hear] then you are missing out on a whole lot of good life lessoning. invite someone from a different race or culture than your own. from a different gender. from a very different generation. and start with stories – listen to their life, hear lessons they have learned, obstacles they have overcome, failures they have endured and successes they have witnessed and been a part of.

it may not look like you want it to look. but if you are not being mentored it is largely your own fault. do something about it.

and perhaps a great way to start is to find someone who you can mentor, meet with regularly, intentionally pour into… but more of that in my next post…

[And if you have a moment to comment, I would LOVE to hear some stories of people who have mentored you in a way you found helpful]

[To continue to the next part on being a MENTOR, click here]

Ephesians 4.15 says, ‘Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.’

Ah, i get it now! When i read ‘Share without pretending’ i had no idea what this was going to be about, but the verse link cleared it up. We are talking about speaking the truth in Love.

And i would add in Proverbs 27.6 for sure – ‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’

Many people feel like Love is telling someone what they want to hear so that they feel good. Especially when it is the answer to question like ‘Do these jeans make me look fat?’ or ‘What do you think of my new hairstyle?’ [altho, to be honest, sometimes answering those questions ‘right’ are a matter of survival] but even with those, if you go for the self-preservation option, you might feel good about yourself for giving a favourable opinion, but if you are sending your special person out into the crowds looking ridiculous or with everyone else thinking, ‘my, she looks fat’, then it may not have been the most Loving response to give.

But those are very superficial examples. What about things that run deeper like behaviour or character issues?

I don’t know many people who enjoy conflict. Even when you are speaking the Truth in Love, in the moment you can leave feeling crappy and unloved. Later when the person has considered it, they may come back and thank you, but often it is a thankless role. But do it anyway!

Look at that verse, ‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ – later on, in Paul’s letter to Timothy, you read this: ‘For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ [2 Timothy 4.3]

An enemy is someone who gives you a big thumbs up “Yes!” when they know full well that the answer they should be giving is a “No!” Someone who celebrates when you get drunk and hit on some girl, even though you have a girlfriend who is not with you. Someone who looks the other way with you when you tell them about the shady business deal you are contemplating. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.

i have one friend [and only one, so don’t you try it] who used to be able to come up to me when i would hang out with him at a coffee shop and say, “Bud, you’re looking fat!” and i would dig it. well, not a lot, cos i know it would mean a lot of work of being careful what i ate and upping the exercise and so on, but we had such a strong relationship that he felt the freedom to be able to wound me [in Love] and i would receive it as an act of friendship. i would probably receive that word well from a lot of other people, but they would HAVE to be a lot more careful with their wording.

when a good friend says something or does something to wound you, you should be able to step back from the wounding and focus on the fact that you know the heart and character of this person and are secure in their Love and friendship and so why did they do that thing? i need to really hear what they were saying and honestly evaluate whether it is true or not. [because sometimes friends will get it wrong, i certainly have a lot… but if the wounding is done in Love and with the best of intentions and heart it becomes something that will quickly be healed]

this is about TRUST and ACCOUNTABILITY and INVITING PEOPLE TO SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE and STRONG RELATIONSHIP. and it is such a powerful thing. when you know that you have friends who will risk themselves to speak Truth to you in Love [because they see your bigger picture character and life as more important than the immediate response you might have to it] then you have a powerful thing.

as i seek to be someone who speaks Truth to my friends in Love, i need to constantly be asking myself, ‘Am i willing to receive the same kind of treatment from others?’ and ‘Who are the people who i have invited to hold me accountable with their Love-filled woundings?’

What has been your experience in this area?

to look at enjoying without complaint, go here.

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