According to Wikipedia, a lightning rod is a metal rod or metallic object mounted on top of a building to interface with ground or “earth” through an electrode. If lightning hits the building it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through the wire, instead of passing through the building, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution.
So, why do I need one?
Friends are like lightning rods. He or she, is someone you can confide to and is ready and available to listen to you. Your lightning rod is not necessarily your friend. You need this person if you need to let out steam or express your disappointments and frustrations. This is someone who will not make a judgement of what they heard. They will just listen. They can be shoulders to cry on. Yes gentlemen, you need to cry too.
We often say that our spouse is our best friend. You may be true. But your spouse may not be your lightning rod. The concept of a lightning rod is to be able to absorb lightning strikes so that it, the lightning will not cause damages to the building. If our spouse receives the “lightning strike”, they may not be able to handle is objectively. Your spouse could potentially be the first person to “attack”. Why? Because they are too emotionally attached to you. I should know, i’m married.
Your lightning rod can be your pastor, a counselor, a schoolmate, a peer or a mentor. Someone you are confident can keep things confidential. They should be able to look at things at a different perspective. They should not be too emotional a person or else, they can incite you to do negative things.
Proverbs 27:9 (ESV) says this: “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” That is what we need from a our lightning rod, earnest counsel. Someone who can quell your anger, refresh your soul, lift your countenance and encourage you. This person would be able to cheer you up. He can tell directly to you if you are the one wrong. He can do that because he is your friend, your lightning rod. He will restore you and not allow you to do damage.
Proverbs 18:24 (ESV), “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.“