Is Affirmation the Same Thing as Friendship?

2 Chronicles 18:1-8 tells the story of a synergy between the two halves of the divided kingdom of Israel. With Judah’s upright and Godly King Jehoshaphat and Israel’s wayward and hapless King Ahab meeting as the latter asks the former to aid him in recovering territory lost to an enemy nation. Jehoshaphat quickly agrees to help his former countryman, but insists that they seek the Lord’s guidance.

Ahab agrees and has a swarm of yes men… er…. “prophets” speak into the situation. And wouldn’t you know it; they all think Ahab is making a solid move and that he should totally do it! But Jehoshaphat’s Spidey senses start tingling and he says, “Now hold up a second, cowboy… are any of your prophets going to actually… you know… ask the LORD about this?”

Ahab’s response is next-level. He says, essentially, yeah… there’s one more guy, but I don’t like him! He’s always got bad news. Of course maybe if Ahab was trying to seek the Lord rather than serve his own interests maybe God wouldn’t constantly be shutting him down?

All that to say this one small, simple thing: it is not difficult to find people who will tell you what you want to hear. In fact, we have made quite a virtue out of “affirmation” these last number of years! But that is NOT always what you need to hear! Sometimes what you need is affirmation, but sometimes what you need to hear is rebuke! If none of your friends is willing to say hard things to you, you need better friends!

Go find a friend who is willing to tell you that you’re off base.

Of be a friends who is willing to tell someone that they’re off base.

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