This could prove to be a rather lengthy one, so grab a cup of hot apple cider and pull up a seat :-)
It's been a few weeks since I felt compelled to blog commentary regarding one of the discussions that we've had on the Gospel Girls Group forum on Facebook, but one of the exchanges that we had today ignited a desire inside of me to share. The conversation sparked from a quip I read that was posted on someone's Facebook page. It said, "True friendship is a blessing from above, and true friends don't ask questions, they just help you dump the body bag in the river." In a twisted humorous way, this quote was saying that a true friend would cover for you no matter what.
My challenge to the group was: What does God say about it? Does He intend for us to cover for friends, even in their wrongdoing? When a friend lies, commits a crime, is unfaithful in a marriage, etc.; is God okay with us covering for them in the name of friendship? Well, the sisters of the 3-G Network are deep thinkers, and as with most of our conversations, this particular discussion went far beyond its original intent. I LOVE the way we interact on this group. We have so many personalities and dynamics, that no discussion is ever predictable or boring.
Most often when we are asked to share what we believe the Lord would or would not be pleased with, the first reaction for Christians is to refer to the Word, which we define as a roadmap for our lives. If we follow it to the letter, we can't go wrong. But what happens when there is no "clear" direction in the Bible that we can site and apply to the question about which we have lingering uncertainty? Let's look at what we do know. Proverbs 17:17 defines a friend as one who loves at all times. Therefore, I must ask myself: Am I truly showing love (Godly love) by helping my friend lie or steal or cheat? In my opinion, what I'm helping my friend to do is sin; which means I am also sinning, which means both of us are out of God's will. With that in mind, I would have to say that helping a friend to do wrong or cover his/her wrong is not God's desire for us.
As our online conversation deepened, the question was also raised as to whether Friend #1, who knows that Friend #2's spouse is being unfaithful, should divulge that information to Friend #2. Several of those on the group described this as meddling and/or indicated they would not do it because it could result in the dissolution of the friendship. My questions with that are: Does God only want us to tell the truth when the truth will be accepted? Does He only require us to be honest when it won't hurt? Are we only to be truthful when it won't result in the loss of friends? Our greatest example is the Son of God. We often hear Christians claim that they want to be more like Jesus, but do we really? Jesus lost followers and garnered enemies because He preached the truth. He spoke the truth, revealing the sins and wrongdoings of others, all the way to the cross. He sacrificed His life for the truth, yet many of us are not even willing to risk sacrificing a friendship. Think about that for a minute.
In a more carnal example, I am reminded of an eposode of a show wherein the producers pulled a prank on actress, Meagan Good, on hidden video. They arranged it so that she would walk in on a friend's boyfriend and catch him passionately making out with another girl. They set it up so that the "other woman" would be straddled over the boyfriends lap, half-dressed, as they kissed and groped each other in a hungry fashion. When Meagan walked into the room, the two "cheaters" jumped apart and scampered to re-dress themselves, all while begging her not to tell her friend. Shortly thereafter, Meagan's friend walks into the room, and the boyfriend greets her as normal, kissing her and telling her that he's happy to see her. Meagan stood off to the side quietly for a few moments, obviously struggling with whether to tell her friend what she knew. But it didn't talk long for her to do what she felt was right. She interrupt the casual conversation of the other three and told her friend what she'd walked in on just minutes earlier. An "argument" followed wherein the boyfriend and the other woman vehemently denied everything, but a very angry Meagan stood her ground, pleading with her friend to believe her, reminding her of their friendship, and telling her friend that she wouldn't dare lie to her. Eventually it was revealed that it was all staged, and of course, it became a laughing matter between the four of them. As the "set-up" came to a close, Meagan's friend said she was so relieved to know that she had the type of friend who would be honest enough to tell her something like that. The prank actually proved to her that Meagan was a true friend.
At the end of the day, the decision to tell the truth about anything is a choice. Truth is ALWAYS right...even when it's not popular. We can choose to do the right thing, or choose to do the comfortable thing. And when it comes to the answer of "What does God say about it?" I believe He requires us to do that which is righteous and trust Him to handle the consequences.
Written and Submitted by: Kendra Norman-Bellamy