“Faithful are the wounds of a friend”
Recently, I was confronted by a very good friend. Now, I am not one that enjoys being confronted about my weaknesses, (none of us are). However, the following verse from the Bible reminds me that sometimes such confrontation is an important thing. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6 (NASB)
In my recent encounter, I learned a lot. I learned alot about myself. I learned about some areas of improvement in my life and I learned about the “faithful wounds of a friend”.
#1- Faithful are the wounds: The wounds will still hurt, but they are needed for a particular reason. The wounds are for our growth and betterment. Getting slashed with a knife from an attacker or the precision of a doctor’s scalpel cut us will both hurt initially and require healing. Only one however produces good results.
An attacker’s wounds are like a thief, “looking to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Some people (yes and even some Christians, sadly) look to attack and destroy. Rather, faithful words seek to deliver only the most minimal wounds necessary. The cut from a doctor’s well intentioned wounds are faithful and were needed for your body’s improvement. I need to be open to faithful wounds.
#2- Faithful are the wounds of a friend: In my recent case, had the wounds come from a stranger or from a casual acquaintance I may have reacted differently. I may not have been as open to hear them or to see them actually for my betterment. I have a good friendship with this person.
There must be a deep trust in the friendship if one is going to wound another with a faithful wound. But if it’s simply a chance to cause injury or feel better about oneself over another, then it’s probably a time to keep “thy mouth shutteth”- (my King James/Old English).
In our modern day, our friendships are often only “Facebook deep”. We can quickly “unfriend” someone if they say something we don’t like. I for one know I need to work at cultivating deep friendships so that I can grow and help others grow. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
#3- Deceitful are the kisses of an enemy: One biblical translation (NIV) phrases this verse, that an enemy “multiplies kisses”. Flattery and deceit from acquaintances or strangers are no good compared the words of an honest friend.
I don’t go looking to get confronted. But when a good friend is willing to confront, I need to take careful time and consideration of the matter. Hopefully, I can remain calm and thoughtful enough to remember Proverbs 27:6 in the matter, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
I might get wounded, but the wounds of a friend are faithful. Let us all seek to be faithful friends!