Faithful Wounds (Proverbs 27:6) - Radical

Faithful Wounds (Proverbs 27:6)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
– Proverbs 27:6

Wow, what a helpful proverb to hear and heed and remember that the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 27:6 reminds us it is good to listen to friends who love us.

What a powerful image of people who say nice things about you, but who do not have your good in mind. There are so many pictures of this in the world around us. The praises of people that are fleeting, that are there one minute and turn around and are gone the next. Kisses of enemies who actually in many cases want our harm or are seeking their own good above us. But then there are friends who are living for our good and will sometimes say hard things to us, wounds. And Proverbs 27:6 says, these are faithful. In other words, these wounds are even good.

It is good to listen to a friend who loves you and is helping you by sharing hard things with you. We see this all over the New Testament in exhortations from Jesus himself, to go to a brother or sister who is caught in sin and to help restore them. Faithful are the wounds of a friend when the whole goal is restoration to God and redemption for your good.

Proverbs 27:6 encourages us to listen to godly counsel with humility.

So let’s be people who receive the wounds of friends with humility, and let’s surround ourselves with friends like this who we can trust. Who don’t just tell us what we want to hear, but who will tell us hard things when we need to hear them. And let’s not be led away by the kisses of enemies, by the praises of people who are not loving us, and faithfully working for our good, and looking out for our good.

Oh God, we pray that you’d make us this kind of people who receive the faithful wounds of friends, and listen to them with humility and honesty and self-examination. God, help us to receive these wounds and, in the process, to experience forgiveness and restoration and redemption in every way that is needed. At the same time, God, we pray that you would help us to discern when the kisses of an enemy might entice us to trust in them.

This verse challenges us to live only for the approval of the Lord.

God, we pray that you would help us not to be drawn in by them, not to live for the praise or approval of others even. Lord, help us in all of this to keep our eyes fixed on you, who always desire our good. God, we praise you that we can always trust your Word, your Spirit. And we pray that you would provide people in our lives who, through your Word and through your Spirit, are willing to wound us in good and faithful ways that help us grow in you.

God, help us to be these kinds of friends to others around us. And when we need to wound in some way, to speak in hard ways, God help us to do that with gentleness, and compassion, and humility, and honest self-examination in our own lives. God, with all the ways that you call us to do this in places like Matthew 18 and Galatians 6… And even the fruit of your Spirit in Galatians 5. God, help us to be friends who show love, and joy…Peace, and patience, and kindness, and goodness… And faithfulness, and gentleness, and self-control, specifically in helping others even when it’s hard to do. And God, even as we think about the spread of the gospel in the world… This good news involves bad news, that we are sinners against a holy God, and we need redemption. We need forgiveness.

Prayer for the Jiasou People

We need salvation. So God, we pray that you would help us to spread that hard news… That bad news in order to lead people to the good news that’s found in you. And God, we pray for this among people around us. Help us to be that kind of friend to people around us. Not to leave people in their sin, but to call people to receive your forgiveness. God, we pray for the spread of this gospel around the world to the Jiasou people of China… On the border near Vietnam, 40,000 of them, God, who have little to no knowledge of the gospel. God raise up friends who love the Jiasou people, and will spread the gospel to them, we pray. We pray all this according to your Word in Proverbs 27:6. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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