Cut to the heart. Like a knife slicing through butter, her words went right through me. Tears threatened to gather in my eyes. For a moment I wanted to respond unkindly. How dare she? How dare she what? Speak truth? Ouch. That’s what really hurt. Not her words but the truth behind them.
Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
A real friend will hurt you if necessary. Not in an unkind, vicious, vindictive type of way. But with hurt that’s rooted in love and grace. Yes, the truth does sometimes hurt. And only a true friend will go there with you.
No, it doesn’t feel good in the moment. In fact, your friend may even look more like an enemy than someone who cares. But when you step back and closely consider what she’s saying, if you find any nugget of truth in it, those are faithful wounds.
Kisses sound so much nicer, don’t they? Warm. Sweet. Inviting. Yet if it’s your enemy delivering those kisses, they’re steeped in deceit.
Wounds cause pain. When a friend inflicts them—with the right intentions—that momentary ouch moment eventually subsides. The pricking is like an awakening…an opening into the infection that’s invading our heart. Otherwise the infection becomes a silent killer. Opening the wound opens opportunity for healing.
This is the kind of friend we all need. I’m blessed to have that. But it’s also the kind of friend we need to be. A faithful friend is willing to take a risk and open the wound. But she’s also willing to stick around for the treatment.