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“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

My definition of a safe person is an individual who can both see and listen to your pain without passing judgment immediately, offering trite recipes for “the fix you need,” and who trusts the work of the Holy Spirit in your life to be His work, not theirs. Now that’s a friend…a real friend. Does that mean that they will always agree with you or somehow allow themselves to justify sinful choices? Of course not! They are “truth speakers” but know “when” and “how” and in “what tone” to speak truth to you.

A safe person is one who is well acquainted with grace, but not solely in an academic way. Their intimacy with the theological concept is from personal experience and not just a mental acceptance of the dry definition, “God’s unmerited favor.” Having been down a path of pain themselves, they have sensed ever so powerfully the touch of God’s healing, tender, loving hand personally…and they haven’t forgotten the experience. They still bask in the warmth of being truly cared about by a sovereign, yet personal Lord. A safe person is a rare gift in your life never to be taken for granted. They come in when it seems the whole world has rushed out of your life like a pre-tsunami tide.

The big question today is: Are you a safe person? Having the right words and standing on fundamental, biblical truths are helpful, but information alone doesn’t give a person the “diploma of safeness.” If information alone could save us, God would have sent us a manual only and would have spared His Only Son…but He did not! The path of Christ winds toward the disenfranchised, the lonely, the broken and even to the broken who don’t know they are broken.

In Christ’s presence, men felt like they could be honest with their struggles and wrestle publicly with their pain. He was safe…and He still is! His true followers and true church should be, too. Though not always the case, it is God’s plan that His children reflect His character. Being a safe person means that you are willing to walk all the way through to the other side of healing in someone’s life. It’s more than being a doorman or a valet in a hospital. It’s about looking into someone’s heart and loving the person God created them to be…not about looking at them with a view to rearrange their wardrobe.

So, how do you get there? Don’t look for a course to take…just live, live in touch and in love with Jesus. Dance to the melody of His grace in your life right now. Shy not away from your personal pain or private sin battles…walk through them, trusting that, if you need one, He will send one…a safe person to enter your life. Then, remember how they treated you, how you felt around them and do the same when your time comes to be a safe person for someone who wanders, with God’s direction into your life. There is music there and notes to be sung you never imagined you could sing…and “in-tune” at that!

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