Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are death.
I was 21 years old when my father died suddenly and no one in my family knew how to cope with that…especially at first. We were all hurting and finding our way through the initial stages of grief. For me, it was rage, pure rage. My world felt so foggy that every line seemed blurred.
The day after we buried my father I got in an argument with my sister and shouted, “If you don’t get out of my way, I’m gonna punch you in the face!” I love my sister and would never hurt her, but rage just came out of my heart through my mouth. My best friend Mike was standing there with us and he stepped between us and said to me, “If you punch her, I’m gonna punch you!” He would have done it, too, and Mike was a big dude. I was so emotionally immature and so damaged in my grief that I took offense that he seemed to turn on me.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that he was loving me like Jesus. Proverbs 27:6 tells us “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are death.” Faithful loving friends will hurt our feelings, if necessary, to help us see and correct destructive behavior. A true friend is willing to say the hard things, in love, to help us be our best selves in Christ. Today let’s stop and thank the Father, Son, and Spirit for the true friends in our lives who correct us in love.
By Bill Winn
Pastor, Grace Communion Hanover, Virginia