As I walked my friend to the door, she glanced over in the living room and saw him lying there, snoring, with his protruding belly unashamedly hanging out all over the place.
She said, “Oh my goodness! He’s gotten so fat!” I rolled my eyes and said, “I know. All he does is sleep.”
She said, “Well he must be getting up there…” I sighed and said, “Yea, his hips are bad, and he hurt his leg. Last week he was limping so bad, we wondered if he was gonna kick the bucket.”
She chuckled and said, “Well, maybe soon.”
I wasn’t offended by her words in the least. And neither was my dog.
My dog is lazy, overweight, and getting old. But even when I say so out loud, and in his presence, he just wags his tail and looks up at me with loving loyalty.
Not so with people friends. I wonder what would happen if I looked over at a friend and said, “Oh my goodness! She’s gotten so fat! And she sure does look old.” I wouldn’t want to find out.
Generally, we say anything but what we truly think about others. We don’t want to deal with the fallout of telling the truth. Quite honestly, it’s not worth it to us. I only have a few friends who are brave enough to risk telling me what they truly think. Not in a rude, cavalier manner. And usually not about my weight or my sleep habits. But about more important things–like my parenting or my marriage or my pride.
These friends, who will give it to me straight in a kind, caring way are rare treasures. I am a better, more godly person, because of their insight.