Faithful Wounds of a Friend
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6
We can all remember the wounds of an enemy. We can flip backwards through the pages of our memory and recall a time when an adversary has left us wounded, either with knife-like words, attacking our character to others, or breaking our trust. Enemies wound us.
But this simple verse from Proverbs seems to have it backwards. It tells us that friends wound us and enemies kiss us. This isn’t some kind of mistake or riddle, but a beautiful truth about a godly friendship.
While friends do (and should) encourage and uplift us, they should also create edifying wounds. These wounds are not meant to break or destroy us, but their pain leads to growth. Like a vine-dresser cutting away the dead vines or the sculptor carving away imperfections, our friendships should be sharpening us—but such sharpening isn’t always comfortable. Sin doesn’t die easy, and sometimes we are quite defensive of it, making the kind chiseling of our friends painful.
In the midst of such chiseling from our friends, we must remember their kindness, and the kindness of God for providing us with such a friend who is brave enough to point out our sin and help us detangle ourselves from it. Don’t allow the pain of this faithful wound drive you away from your friend, but bring you closer into deeper Christian fellowship.
Thank you, God, for true friends, who not only encourage me but also strengthen me, even when it may sting. Help me to courageously do the same for them, and to be thankful for their kind wounds. Amen.
Do you have a friend who leaves faithful wounds? Thank God for that person, and also write a thank you note to them for how they have strengthened your faith.