For some people, you can do no wrong. You are lovely. The sun shines brightly from your behind. They could catch you torturing a cat, and their response would be an arm round the shoulder, and an encouraging, “You’ve been under a lot of pressure recently, and that cat really shouldn’t have looked at you that way… let’s have a drink.” They’re the buddies with the beers. You relax with these people. You walk away feeling like a million dollars, loved and accepted. They’ll take a hit for you.
For some people, you can do no right. You are dark. The devil incarnate would be ashamed to associate with you. You could win the Nobel Peace prize and they’d be openly speculating about how many of the committee you’d slept with. They’re the jeering and sneering adversaries with the record of your wrongs. You are ruined by these people. You’ll walk away feeling judged and unloved. Then they’ll stab you in the back for good measure.
Hopefully, you’ve also got a precious few in your life who relate to you as you really are – dark and lovely. They’ll call you out on your cat torturing, and party hard with you over your promotion. They’ll love you enough to stand with you in the hard time; and they’ll love you enough to look you in the eye and speak the hard home truth(s). You rise with these people. You walk away feeling simultaneously stung, and celebrated. They stab you in the front.
The Lord will use all three of these people in your discipleship; to conform you to the image of Christ. He’ll cover you and encourage you with type one. He’ll regularly set a table for you with type two –(how else will you become like the enemy loving Immanuel?)
But I pray he’ll give you loads of type threes – because that stuff is rocket fuel.
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” Proverbs 27:6
(H/T Oscar Wilde)