I read this quote by a guy named Andre Breton that has continually bounced around in my head since first seeing it: "Love is when you meet someone who tells you something new about yourself."
So often, I want someone to "love" me by reminding me of all the good things I already like about myself. It is true... I so, sometimes, need someone to encourage me by pointing out the image of God reflected in me. Yet to always equate flattering lips with love would be a huge mistake. For sometimes, I see genuine, sacrificial love best demonstrated by one who will show me who I really am... still. I need a friend who will gently point out the true - even when unflattering or unfavorable or harsh - that others clearly see when they look at me. It's what I'd see if I looked without pretense deeply into the mirror of God's Word.
It hurts... but learning new things about myself, things that God wants to change through the gracious working of His Holy Spirit within... is a good kind of hurt that changes and strengthens.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.b
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.