Be a reliable friend
Years ago, the issue of slaves was a huge and much debated topic in America. Opposing political camps vigorously challenged and ripped each other apart about the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of slavery. Benjamin Rush was one such man who was heavily opposed to the buying and selling of slaves. He talked against it until he was blue in the face, and wrote in many newspapers about it. He even asked churches to preach against slavery from their pulpits because all people are created in the image of God. Unfortunately for Rush, it was well-known that he was the owner of a slave. Robert E. Lee was another renowned political figure of the time who pronounced the same message: stop slavery! He set all the slaves free he inherited from his father-in-law, and even went as far as giving them a decent education before he let them go.
Which one of the two will you trust? The one speaks against slavery but has a slave. The other speaks against slavery but trained all his slaves and set them free. Yes, you can say it’s a silly question, but I’m sure you now better understand the principle.
A reliable friend is also somebody who won’t spread stories about you behind your back. No, you can rest assured that your authentic self and honesty are safe with a friend. You’re not going to get a surprise somewhere and hear some or other twisted story about you from somebody else. You also don’t have to be concerned that your deepest secret will reach the Sunday paper’s back page. It will be safe with a true friend. Proverbs 11:13 describes it very clearly:
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret – NIV.
A story can cause great damage even it is the truth. A reliable friend is someone with whom you can share your deepest secrets without fearing that the truth will land in the wrong hands somewhere and cause harm. You can therefore uninhibitedly reveal things to a friend that trouble you, or have bothered you for a long time. So, you can free yourself up and enjoy life in abundance. Somebody unreliable will use such truths against you and during that time pretend that its merely a repeat of the truth – it was after all meant totally innocently and the complete truth!
That’s why you must be and live as a reliable friend!