Sometimes the intent of another is not to wound us but rather to prevent us from hurting ourselves. In Proverbs 27:5-6, King Solomon, known for his wisdom, wrote, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”(NIV) The New American reads, “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
So what does that mean? It means that maybe our thinking is all wrong. We think that a true friend is one who always says nice things to us, and tells us how wonderful we are, and of course, always takes our side when we are, in our opinion, being treated unjustly. But the writer of Proverbs says, “Nope!”
Here’s the truth girls: If someone doesn’t love us enough to speak truth to us, they don’t love us enough.
A true friend, a faithful friend, will not sit by and watch us make a mess of our lives. But let me tell you, an unfaithful friend, like an enemy, will tickle our ears. She is not interested in correcting or rebuking us because truthfully, she is more interested in the relationship benefiting her. Of course, it might also be because she is not willing to deal with the way we might respond…which is understandable what with the way some of us are prone to respond when confronted! Who wants that kind of trauma?
On the other hand, if we have a friend who loves us enough to speak truth to us, hunker down, and ride out the storm, we have a gift that is more precious than gold.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” What this means to me is that when two hard headed, Jesus loving girls butt heads over scripture centered correcting and rebuking, after the dust cloud clears, they will immerge sharper, wiser, and battle ready.
Though we all like to surround ourselves with people who will say nice things to us and tell us how wonderful we are, it is so important to have people in our lives that are committed to an “iron sharpening iron” relationship. When it comes to those “friends” who tickle our ears, let me remind you that Judas greeted Jesus with a kiss – the night he betrayed Him.
From the Bible Study, “Walking Wounded.”
Are you blessed to have an “iron sharpening iron” friend in your life? We would love to hear about it. Please let us know by clicking here or share with us on our Facebook page.
And by the way, you might want to let her know her value…maybe even buy her a cup of coffee!
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