You cannot have a relationship without being a person of influence. The truth is we give and receive counsel everyday. The question we must ask is, "do I give wise or foolish counsel?" (as Proverbs puts it).
We are constantly influenced by a world that calls us to be our own gods, doing only what we are able to understand and living on our own, sometimes in isolation from others. The truth is we need people who will love us with God's definition of love, meaning: love us enough to speak truth into our lives. Love us enough to say, "that's not cool" or plainly, "you're being selfish" when that's the last thing we want to hear. They should love us enough to want to see God glorified and our lives centered upon Him. Do you have friends that love you like that?
Hebrews 3:13 says it best:
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
Most often I am overcome with defensiveness when Allen reveals something in my life that needed to be uncovered. I get angry, defensive, sure that he's wrong. But, after giving it some time to pray about and mull over, the Lord usually shows me that I was completely blind to that issue and he has used Allen to reveal it to me. And I become thankful that God has put someone in my life who actually LOVES me enough to help me see what I need to see. Then, I pray that He would help me to RECEIVE that information next time with a thankful heart! Oh, that I would finally come to that point where I am THANKFUL to receive such information! Can I get an AMEN on this...please tell me it's not just me who struggles with this?
It's no problem for me to see a speck of dust in my neighbor's eye and to point it out, but when it comes to me I'm completely oblivious to the plank in my own eye!
Here's how Paul (Tripp) puts it:
"The reality of spiritual blindness has important implications for the Christian community...personal insight is the product of community. I need you in order to really see and know myself. Otherwise, I will listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies, and buy into my own delusions. My self-perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror. If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God's Word in front of me."