Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are]
deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).
Have you ever found yourself caught between a need for an honest
evaluation and a fear of hearing the truth? We all know that we sometimes need that
outside opinion regarding some part of our lives so that we can make necessary adjustments
where needed. Whether those adjustments are to a project we have been working on, or to
the particular way we do something, or perhaps even to a part of our personality. We
realize we are not perfect and that we need to hear and to weigh the viewpoints of
another--and yet we wince at what we know we may hear that we really do not want to hear.
In the quest to be Christ-like, we cannot become serious without realizing at some point
that it is necessary to have someone who will be a good enough friend to let us know when
we mess up. Perhaps I have made an off-colored remark or used a harsh tone that caused
someone to feel hurt. Perhaps I acted in a way that made someone else feel put down,
unimportant or unappreciated. There are many ways that our actions and attitudes can
easily reflect more of a selfish heart than a Christ like character.
Realizing that we do and say things without thinking, and often without noticing, it is
necessary for some sort of accountability. We need someone to help us keep ourselves
honest. It could be a close friend or a number of friends in whom we place the sacred
trust of being our help to walk as a child of God, and not as a child of the world. It is
so important that our actions are not hurtful, and that our words are not cutting. Our
wrong deeds can hurt our relationship with God, with others and with self. Those wrong
doings can also hinder someone coming to know Jesus.
Our love for God will lead us to love humanity, and our love for humanity will lead us to
observe how we affect those around us. If we love others, then we will seek to do what is
needed to prevent their harm. And because of our love for our friends, we will help them
by telling them the truth they need to hear--no matter how painful it is to them or to us.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity
A man [that hath] friends must show himself friendly: and there is a
friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).