The wounds of a friend

Proverbs 27:6 – Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

A common refrain I have been hearing from older generations of workers is that younger employees require what feels like an unhealthy amount of affirmation and praise simply for doing their job. Whether this stems from helicopter parenting, the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset or from being used to getting “likes” and “follows” for everything you do online, it does feel like, more than ever, any criticism is seen as doing violence to another person. And that is a dangerous mindset to have.

Proverbs 27:6 tells us that “wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” In Proverbs 29:5, we read, “whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.” And in Ephesians 4:15, Paul writes that it is “speaking the truth in love” that causes us to grow to maturity in Christ.” The truth is that we do not see ourselves clearly, and often those around us who observe us regularly can see things to which we are blind or refuse to admit to ourselves. For this reason, it is dangerous to surround ourselves with only people who affirm us and tell us what we want to hear. We all need friends who are willing to wound us, who are not afraid to speak the truth in love to us, for that is how we grow to maturity.

Of course, this sort of arrangement also requires humility on our part. If we believe that we know ourselves perfectly, or if we are too fragile to receive constructive criticism from people who know us, then we will be mired in immaturity. We will end up keeping at arm’s length people who truly do love us and have our best interest in mind, and we will miss out on the kind of conversations that have the potential to bring us to new levels of living.

It is a risky thing to open ourselves up to the honest feedback of others. But one of the best things we can do for our personal growth is to give people who know us the permission to speak into our lives whatever it is they are seeing, or to point out wherever they feel we are not living in line with our values or goals, and then to humbly consider whether there is any truth in what they have shared. And it also takes great courage to give honest feedback to people we know and love. But there is a way to speak the truth in love. It may take asking permission to share something that you’ve noticed, and then saying it in humility, admitting that you may be completely off-base. But if you let the other person know that you want the best for them, then you increase the likelihood that they will be able to hear what you have to say without becoming defensive or rejecting you.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted. May we all be that type of friend, and surround ourselves with friends who are not afraid to wound us in order to save us from a worse fate.

Posted in
Tagged with , ,

No Comments






1 Corinthians 10 1 Thessalonians 5 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Timothy 4 Abundant Life Adoption Affirmation American cullture America Anonymity Anthropology Anxiety Apologetics Approval Arguments Atheism Baptism Barnabas Battle Be still Bible Study Bible reading Bible study fellowship Bible Billy Graham Bob Pierce Bonhoeffer Books Breath Prayer Brennan Manning Brian Fearon Bronx Busyness C.S. Lewis Cape Coast Castle Central African Republic Character Charles Spurgeon Charleston Cheap grace Christian media Christian privilege Christian publishing Christmas Church growth Church life Church College Commitment Communication Community Compassion Competition Confidence Contentment Coronavirus Counseling Courage Cove Service Cowardice Craig Wolfram Critical Race Theory Criticism Cross Culture D.L. Moody Daniel David Death Deborah Despair Discernment Discipleship Distractions Division E.M Bounds Easter Ebenzer Ecuador Edward Kimball Election Elisabeth Elliot Enabling Encouragement Endurance Envy Ephesians Eternal life Eternity Evaluation Evangelism Faith False Teachers Fame Family Fasting Father Fear Fellowship Footwashing Forgiveness Francis Chan Freedom Friendship Gaia McDermott Gates George Mueller Gift exchange Gino Marozzi Giving Glory God's character God's faithfulness God's goodness God's leading God's love God's plan God's presence God's sovereignty God's wrath God\'s faithfulness God\'s love God\'s sovereignty God Good Samaritan Gospel Grace Grief Haiti Handel's Messiah Happiness Hartford City Mission Healing Heaven Hebrews 11 Hell History Holiness Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Hope Horatio Spafford Hospitality Houston Human rights Humility Hypocrisy Identity Ideologies Idols Immanuel In memory of Information overload Injustice Insecurity Integrity Intimacy Isaiah 9 Israel JI Packer Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 8:11 Jesus' death Jesus' love Jesus\' love Jesus Job Joe Barone John 8 Jordan Perterson Joseph Joshua Joy Judgement Judges Justice Kanye West Kingdom of God Knowing God Lamentations Lament Las Vegas Leadership Leaf by Niggle Lent Les Miserables Lessons learned Longing Lord's Prayer Love Lynne Pleau Mark 10:21 Mark Driscoll Marketing Memorial Day Men's conference Mercy Mike Yaconelli Ministry Missions Money Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Moses Music Nancy Butler New Year's New life NewLife Old Testament Opinions Optimism Order Orlando Outreach Parenting Passion of the Christ Passion Pastoral care Pastoral ministry Pentecost Peru Phil Vaglica Philip Yancey Philippians 4:13 Play Pokemon Go Politics Poverty Power Prayer Preaching Pride Month Pride Prison ministry Progress Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Proverbs 14:4 Proverbs Psalm 13 Psalm 46:10 Psalm 46 Psalm 51 Public Speaking Purpose R.C Sproul Reflection Relationship with God Relationships Relativism Relevance Reputation Rest Resurrection Rev 2:4 Revival Rich young ruler Righteousness Romantic love Ron Luce Running Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Same-sex marriage Samuel Sanctification Satan Saul Seculosity Self-Image Self-Worth Service Sex Trafficking Sex Shirley Prey Signifigance Silence Sin Smartphones Social justice Songs of Ascent Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Warfare Spiritual growth Statues Stories Street Church Stress Success Suffering Suicide Sunday School Survivor Syria Technology Teen Mania Thanksgiving The Hartford project The Ragman The Sound of freedom The Underground The Valley of Vision Tim Keller Titanic Tolkienn Tozer Trauma Trust Truth Uconn basketball Unanswered Prayer Unity Uvalde Valley of Vision Vows Williams Syndrome Wisdom Work Worry Worship Zechariah accountability accusation addiction bitterness cancel culture child trafficking confession conflict cool devotion disillusionment divorce emotions evil evolution faithfulness foster care glory days gratitude idolatry influences listening marriage nostalgia pastor perspective problem of Evil prodigal son purity of heart racism recovery redemption relevant repentance story temptation the one Jesus loves time management trials tribalism violence vision