At the coffee shop, we face one another. I wish the conversation was as comfortable as the leather club chairs we are sitting in.
Stacy is a mentor. One of my “inner circle” of trusted friends committed to speaking truth into my life. The thing about truth is it doesn’t care about your feelings. This is probably why we often try so hard to avoid it.
This isn’t an intervention. I initiated the meeting. As I regularly do with my inner circle mentors. For all the things I’ve not done well over the course of my life, I’ve always purposed to surround myself with godly people who are smarter and wiser. They are most times older. Sometimes not. They are each one people who, as we used to say on the farm, “aren’t afraid to tell you how the cow ate the cabbage.”
Put simply, they aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.
Stacy is doing his job at this moment and doing it well. He asks specific and probing questions. And he waves away my marginal answers. “I don’t know” is not an answer”, he says. “Try again.”
I continue to dance around the point I know he’s trying to make with me. “Well, I feel like….”
“No. There’s no “I feel like…”. Answer the question.”
When I finally land on what we both know is the right answer he smiles and says, “Ok. Now we’re getting somewhere.”
Stacy then proceeds to walk me through a logical and Biblical progression of thought. All designed to point me back to the truth of Scripture. The truth that, in this instance, reveals my hypocrisy and pride.
If that sounds like it hurts, it does.
Yet God’s word reminds us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6)
Stacy is a faithful friend.
In Ephesians 5:15, God instructs us to “Be careful, then, how you walk. Not as unwise men but as wise.” The phrase “be careful” in the Greek text translates, “to look at accurately”.
The difference between living wisely or unwisely is looking accurately at our lives. I would argue that looking accurately at our lives is impossible to do on our own. We’re too close to ourselves to be objective. Our human propensity to fool ourselves is enormous. Our capability for self-deception is frightfully well-developed.
The irony of our fallen sin nature is that it prevents us from seeing how fallen we truly are.
Because of that, we need faithful inner circle friends and mentors to help us “look accurately” at our lives. To point out our blind spots. To point out our hypocrisy. To point out the stubborn pride that prevents us from growing into the person God desires us to be.
If you don’t have a godly inner circle friend or mentor committed to helping you “look accurately” at your life, go find one. Like yesterday. You can’t become the person God desires you to be without one.
And if you can find a leather club chair for your conversations, so much the better.