Have you ever seen the show American Idol? If you haven’t, it’s a reality show with singers competing for the prize. When it first started, people would get up on stage and sing who could not sing, couldn’t even carry a tune. I know it’s all part of the show, and that reality television is not exactly reality, but when those people got all upset, I’m thinking either A) this is fake, or B) those people didn’t have anyone who loved them enough to tell them they can’t sing. No one would tell them the hard truth. That’s what true friends do. (If you ever see me auditioning for American Idol, tell me no! I can’t sing! PLEASE stop me before I make a fool of myself on national TV!)
Our verse today has something to do with this, with true friendship. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” This is so important for us as friends, and for those who are friends to us.
Have you ever heard these sayings? “Friends don’t let friends drink and drive.” Or, “friends don’t let friends ruin their lives.” Sometimes we have people in our lives who are fake, or phony. They’ll be sucking up to you, trying to get you to like them to your face, but talking about you behind your back. We need true friends that will tell us when we’re going down the wrong path. We need friends that love us enough to lose our friendship.
I had a girl come talk to me once who had a friend who was on drugs and in with the wrong crowd. She was afraid for her friend, and she wanted to tell her parents what was going on, but she was afraid she would lose her friendship. I asked her, “Do you love your friend enough to do the right thing for her, even if it costs you her friendship?” She said yes, so I told her then that she needed to make that call. Would she really be loving her if she didn’t get her help, and then she ends up addicted to drugs?
We need to speak the truth to others in love. If we’re going to be true friends to people, we need to stop trying to tiptoe around or beat around the bush. We don’t need to say things rudely or call people stupid, but we can still call our friends out when they’re going astray. The verse says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”—it may hurt! It may bother us in the moment when our friends call us out, but it’s so much better than having people sit back while we ruin our lives. So let’s speak the truth in love.
Will you be willing to hear when family and friends speak hard truths into your lives? We all have blind spots in our lives where we need critique and constructive criticism. It can be hard to hear, but we need people to walk alongside us who can point these things out to us, and we need to be willing to listen to these people. They’re our true friends.
Here’s our verse one last time: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy,” (Proverbs 27:6). So be a true friend, and surround yourself with true friends. Together, we can get wisdom.
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