In Front of a True Friend

By Stan Mitchell
Joe was an avid golfer. He was also an elder in a local church. It had been a frustrating week, and he hoped to make up for it on Saturday with some links-therapy.
But the day dawned raw and windy. He felt clumsy and uncoordinated in his heavy jacket, and the gusting crosswinds made hitting the ball down the fairway a lottery. Joe’s shots whipped and bounced unpredictably. On the eighteenth hole he had to make three puts after hitting the green.
He was livid. Entering the dressing room and seeing no one, he flung his golf club against the wall, and as it clattered to the floor, he gave the door a mighty kick. Then he turned and saw David, his best friend.
“Not having a good day are we?” David’s smile was grim.
Joe was immediately ashamed. He had let his temper control him rather than the other way around. “Dave,” he said, “I’m really sorry you had to see that. I have no excuses.”
“On the contrary,” David replied, “I’m glad I saw it!”
“Huh? What do you mean?” asked the puzzled Joe.
“It’s simple. I’m your friend, and I won’t tell anyone what I saw. This can be our secret!”
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9, ESV).
Someone has said that our friends love us in spite of our bad points, and our enemies hate us in spite of our good ones. It is not necessary to repeat everything that we know, and the mark of a truly good friend is his willingness to gently put our mistakes to rest. This week, you will make a mistake. May you do so before a true friend!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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