“Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
May I me ask you a question based on Proverbs 27:6? Do you have friends who will wound you? Do you have people in your life who will speak truth in your life even when it’s really hard to hear? Do you have friends who love you enough, who care for you enough to point out things in your life that are not healthy, that are not good, which we all have? We all are prone to sin. We all have weaknesses, struggles. We all have areas where we need to grow in the character of Christ in our lives, which means we need every single one of us. We need faithful friends who will wound us, who will say hard things to us because they love us, because they care for us. We don’t need to be surrounded by people who are always, to use language from Proverbs 27:6 kissing us, always telling us all the good things about us.
We need friends who will help us see things to which we are blind. We need friends who will provide constructive criticism for our good.
Profuse are the kisses of an enemy. An enemy only says kind things according to Proverbs 27:6. An enemy only says flattering things according to Proverbs 27:6. We don’t need flattery in our lives. We need honesty in our lives. Yes, honest encouragement, but also honest constructive criticism that which is for our good, that which helps us see things we can’t see. So let me encourage you, if you don’t have friends in your life who will wound you in really helpful ways, to seek those out and to speak to your friends and say, “Please wound me when needed for my good, for others good around me, ultimately for the glory of God in me.” And then be that kind of friend, wound, not in a way that you enjoy wounding someone. Of course, that’s not what a faithful friend does, but a faithful friend carefully, humbly, compassionately, lovingly in a posture of service wounds a friend for their good.
So let’s be that kind of friend. Be in relationships with people where we are encouraging them in all the right ways and we are also helping them grow in all the right ways. God I pray in my own life for faithful wounds from friends. I pray for that. Please, please, please provide that in my life, oh God. And please help me to provide that in others’ lives, who I care for and love. Help us to do this with humility all the way around, humility in receiving those wounds, humility in giving those wounds. Keep us from prideful flattery in other’s lives in our own lives. God, we pray for the authentic community, the wise community, relationships, friendships that Proverbs is describing here in Proverbs 27:6. God, help us to be faithful friends to one another, including wounding one another for one another’s good and ultimately for your glory, may it be so in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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