They say the truth hurts. I don’t disagree.
Hearing the truth about ourselves from others can be downright painful.
However, if we can maneuver past the immediate pain and dive into that truth, real growth occurs.
We see this in a fascinating Old Testament story.
Ahab was king of Israel.
He partners with Jehoshaphat king of Judah to go to war against Ramoth Gilead but Jehoshaphat wants to seek godly counsel first and told Ahab “First seek counsel of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22:5).
Ahab gathers all his “prophets” who quickly tell him what he wants to hear. “Go for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” (22:6).
However King Jehoshaphat wisely asks “Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
Ahab said “yes” there was someone but “I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me but always bad.” (22:7-8).
That someone is Micaiah.
Before going, Ahab’s men tell Micaiah that “the other prophets are predicting success . . . let your word agree with theirs” and tell Ahab what he wants to hear. (22:13)
With boldness Micaiah replied “I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” (22:14)
And he does and as expected it wasn’t what Ahab wanted to hear.
Micaiah’s words were ignored and he is sentenced to prison.
The kings go to battle and Ahab suffered fatal injuries because he refused to listen to the truth.
Every woman needs a Micaiah in her life.
That friend who cares enough to risk the friendship and speak the truth.
The truth hurts but if heeded it heals and brings change.
We need the friend who will speak up when the guy isn’t right for us and certain friendships are toxic.
That friend who kindly points out that our constant life-drama is really a self-created crutch to keep us in self-absorbed, victim mentality and lovingly reminds us that we are the common denominator in all of it and are slowly alienating others.
We need the friend who will point out with love when we miss the mark, are headed down a dangerous road, are making decisions from emotions and reacting instead of acting or we are engaging in self-destructive habits robbing us of peace and joy.
We need the Micaiah friend who will call us out when we are out of line, force us to take responsibility and hold us accountable for our decisions with their resulting consequences instead of enabling us because they fear the truth will destroy the friendship.
Had Ahab listened to Micaiah he would not have died on the battlefield.
Without my Micaiah friends, I would not be here today.
Ten years ago I was headed towards certain destruction engaging in excessive insecurity, self-hatred, pity, anger, resentment then attempting to numb it all with alcohol.
Years earlier I walked away from God into a hell of my own creation.
Self-loathing was my prison and self-pity my master.
It took honest friends (some disguised as my mom and sister) who loved me enough to risk losing the relationship to speak the truth.
I denied it, justified it, and refused to believe it.
But deep within I knew it was all true.
Admitting that was my first step to healing.
My Micaiahs are still speaking the truth to me.
It still hurts. And I am so thankful for them.
I would rather have one Micaiah who speaks the truth regardless of how much it hurts than a hundred friends or therapists/counselors who tell me what I want to hear (been there done that).
My hope for you today is that you have a Micaiah friend and if not God will send one into your life and you will be wise enough to listen and “course correct” even when it hurts.
Then as my pastor says “don’t make excuses, make changes” so you may soar to new spiritual heights, finally stop the insane drama, begin to heal within, discover a love for yourself and achieve all your hearts desire.
You shall know the truth and THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE! (John 8:32)