Raise your hand if you enjoy pain.
Yeah, most of us truly don’t enjoy the misery that pain brings us.
What we all can agree on though is that we want to be accepted.
When it comes down to it, that’s one of our primary needs in life, acceptance.
As we age, we seek this acceptance from different areas. We start with our parents, then move to individual friends, then groups, then a spouse, and then circle back around to family.
When this natural progression occurs, we’re seeking acceptance while also trying to figure out who we are, what we like or dislike, how we see the world, etc.
Most of the time as we are establishing these things in ourselves, we’re looking for people who “accept us for who we are”.
At some point, we make up in our minds who that is, set it in stone and never move from that place. Everyone else has to work around us.
But what we fail to ask is when we do this is, “how does this help us?”
If we put a stake in the ground and are determined not to move from that place because that’s who we have determined we are, then where is the room for growth? Where is the opportunity for change when it’s needed?
I believe it’s necessary for us to have principles in our life that we don’t move off of when it comes to certain areas such as morality, ethics, and integrity.
But when it comes to being stubborn and hard-headed because we don’t want to change certain areas of our lives? That’s not a healthy approach.
Instead of approaching things this way, let me submit to you that we should actually welcome pain.
Why do you want me to hurt and endure pain?!
The best relationships I’ve had in my life are with people who are honest with me even when I don’t want them to be.
Proverbs 27:6 says “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (NLT)
If all the feedback I ever receive is how awesome I am, how good I’m doing, that there is no room for growth or improvement, then how does that help me?
I need to know where I’m failing, because sometimes I may not see it.
I need to be made aware of where my blind spots are so I know how to avoid being setback because I didn’t look closely at that area.
I need someone to gently correct me when I’m wrong.
I need someone or multiple someones in my life who are not interested in only telling me the things I want to hear, but they love me enough to tell me what I need to hear.
A sincere friend sees you headed into a dangerous place and warns you before you wind up making a terrible mistake.
A “friend” who doesn’t want to hurt you, will let you walk into that same place because that warning might upset you or damage your relationship.
If you want to surround yourself with people who aren’t interested in you being the best version of yourself, then so be it. But if you would rather grow even at the expense of a little hurt now and then, change your environment.
I’ve heard it said that we are the product of the 5 people closest to us.
Look around and see who you are allowing to speak into your life and influence you. Are they building you up or reaffirming things that maybe they shouldn’t?
When someone loves you enough to offer corrective criticism for the sake of helping you, don’t reject it, embrace it.When someone loves you enough to offer corrective criticism for the sake of helping you, don’t reject it, embrace it. Click To Tweet
A few temporary wounds that may cause a little discomfort is better for us in the long run.
If we have people in our lives who will do this for us, we need to be thankful.
Don’t confuse this with someone who is constantly berating you and never lifting you up, that’s a toxic environment you need to leave immediately.
A sincere friend is someone who encourages you when you’re doing well and isn’t afraid to upset you when they see you approaching disaster.
Be grateful for these people in your life and take time out to tell them how much you appreciate them today.
Have you experienced this in your life on either front? Either someone always telling you good things or a sincere friend who gives you needed warnings?
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