I did something pretty painful the other morning. I looked in the mirror. Not the typical “good enough” glance I give myself every morning to be sure I wiped the toothpaste off my chin. I mean I really took a close look. I knew I used to have a chin and my hair seems to have a little more frosting than before. And where in the world did that stray hair come from? Nothing ever grew there before!
Sometimes looking in the mirror can be a really horrific experience. The mirror does not lie. In fact, sometimes it will save your life. How many times have you heard people tell the story of finding a spot on their face that looked suspicious? That early detection may have saved their life.
I had a lady tell me one time that she and her girlfriends get together often to “vent” about their husbands. I listened patiently and then asked some important questi
She was really taken back by this suggestion and smiled at me like I was nuts. “Of course not. What kind of friend would do that?”ons. “So after you vented (which is code for ‘criticize’), do any of your friends challenge you to change your behavior?”
“A good friend,” I suggested. I continued, “Do any of your friends challenge you to do the right thing regardless of what your husband does?”
“I don’t know any girlfriend that would do that?”
“So what is the value of these friends?”
Now let me pause the drama here to let you know she had a problem with being overly critical of her husband and never praising anything he did right. In fact, she was a lot like a yappy dog that never shuts up. If she did give him a compliment, it was followed with “but”. That was her introduction to a litany of complaints that may include his failure to draw her bath at the right temperature or leaving a dandelion in the yard for the second week in a row.
So back to the drama… I suggested to her, “I think you need some new friends.”
“There aren’t any girls like that.”
“Get new friends.”
“What kind of friend would actually encourage someone to change their behavior?”
“A good friend. Get new friends.”
Some of us love to only look into the distorted carnival mirror that make us look 30 pounds lighter and 6 inches taller. Reality is sometimes hard to take but a good mirror can help us see that piece of spinach in your teeth and questionable mole on your neck.
That is the benefit of a good friend. When they are around you, they make you better, not worse. Of course you don’t want them telling you all your flaws. However there are times when good friends will challenge you to rise above the circumstances and put your best foot forward. They will help you consider what might be going on in another person’s life that may be challenging you. They won’t let you get away with bad behavior, whether you think someone deserves it or not.
What kind of mirrors do you have in your life? I hope they are good mirrors. Regardless, I am still going to get a carnival mirror for my bathroom ;).