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Thursday, January 13, 2011

True Words From A Real Friend

I love singing.  I grew up singing in my bedroom, the shower and pretty much anywhere for that matter.  I even thought that God was asking me to sing for Him and use this amazing gift for His glory!  I could see it in my mind, touring the world for Jesus.  However, there was one small problem.  I was not as gifted as I thought I was.  Whenever I actually got in front of people to perform, I was so nervous that I went flat frequently.  Not to mention, it was a real struggle for me to sing correctly.  I never felt comfortable in my own shoes while singing, nor did I sense the grace of God on this particular ability.  I tried to get inspiration from my younger brother who was an excellent singer/ song writer and I thought I could do what he was doing because I liked what he was doing!  My first clue that I was not a gifted singer should have been the fact that NO ONE came up to me and said I did a good job, unless it was family of course.  They would tell me I sounded great even if I was a broken record.  Then one day, I went to dinner with a friend who straight up told me that I could not sing.  He went on to say that I was not gifted at singing and that my talents were in another area.  “Cory, Explore what those are,” he said.  Well, let me just say that I was devastated by our conversation and I couldn’t sleep the whole night because I was convinced that I was supposed to sing.  Over the next several months and even years, I realized that I was not gifted to sing, even if I practiced every day and took singing lessons…the whole nine yards.  I would have been a very very low average singer…if that! 

The bible says “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6 New Living Translation).  Sometimes, we are so convinced we are right about the direction in life we need to take or about an important decision that we fail to see clearly.  We really like the gifts and talents of someone else, and try to claim them for ourselves.  We might not say it out loud, but we say it secretly in our hearts and take steps to see them function in our lives.  That happened to me.  I saw my younger brother was a great singer and song writer and I wanted to be too.  It was cool!  What came very natural for him was extremely burdensome for me, but I would not have admitted it.  I just tried harder and it became very frustrating.  God had to work through a friend of mine that was very close to me because I was not listening to Him directly.  My friend’s words hurt me, but they REALLY HELPED me in the end.  I was so grateful for his honesty, because it helped me discover and go after what I was really good at in life.  Instead of pursuing something I was average at, I am know running after what God has called me to do.  I love speaking and sharing what God has done in my life with others.  It is something I do naturally and when I am speaking in front of people, it motivates me.  When I get done, people tell me that I really helped them grow closer to God.  I finally started running in my lane and life couldn’t be better. 

Are you going through a rough patch and need someone to be honest with you?  Or maybe you see someone in your world going through a very difficult season and you know you should say something to him because you LOVE and VALUE him as a person.  It might hurt his feelings because you could say something that he doesn’t want to hear, but in the end, it will help him down the right path.  I was so thankful for my friend who was willing to tell me the truth even though it hurt.  I look back and see how much happier I am now knowing that I am using the real gifts and talents God has given me to further His kingdom.  The next time you find yourself in a situation where you hear words you might not want to hear from a true friend, prayerfully consider what he is saying.  Those words just might be true riches that leads you into your destiny or brings real healing into your life.  It did for me. 

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