Obviously, you do not want to be needlessly cruel, but you must always be straightforward with the truth. If this is what you want—to be helpful rather than a hindrance—join me in this prayer:
I see my friend in need, and I want to help.
Like a mother with a small child, I want
To kiss her bruise and make it better, but I can’t.
The problem is much more serious,
And I cannot control the outcome,
Although doing so is definitely what I want to do.
I see how self-destructive my friend has become,
But my soothing interventions have not worked.
I fear my graciousness has done nothing more
Than enabled her to continue pursuing a life
Of degradation and ruin, ending in premature death.
Father, empower me help my friend.
Give me strength to speak out boldly
With the truth, rather than with soothing words
That makes her alcoholism seem less serious
Than it really is. Give me wisdom and love,
Coupled with penetrating truth, so that
I can be useful rather than a hindrance,
Blessed are they who keep my ways.
Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it, (Proverbs 8:32b-33. NAS).