A few weeks ago, two friends sat me down to talk with me about my health and the poor decisions I’ve made in eating and exercise. They challenged me with grace and truth and communicated their love to me through words and action. Though they said some tough things that were hard for me to hear and admit, I knew they were right.
A few days ago, I got wounded again by a different set of friends. Kristen and I were asked to lead a small group of newly married couples. We know most of the couples, and love getting to spend time with newlyweds. When I shared the opportunity with my small group guys, they all told me they didn’t think we should lead the group. It’s not because our marriage isn’t in a great place. It’s not because they want to steal our fun. And it’s not because they don’t think we have something great to offer these couples. They told me we should say “no” because we’re too busy and need to focus on other parts of life right now.
If I’m honest, I felt crushed. I felt like the kid who was told by his parents “no.” I almost cried because I didn’t get my way.
Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” The ESV Study Bible says the following about Proverbs 27:6: “The wounds of a friend are meant to cut to the heart for the good of the person, whereas the kisses of an enemy are devised to appease the heart in order to hide the hurt that has or is to come.”
Let’s be honest: not one of us prefers a wound over a kiss. Whether it’s a kiss from a spouse, a hug from a friend, or a word of encouragement from your boss, we’d all prefer the affection that comes from a kiss. But, sometimes we need the growth that can come from a wound even more than the fleeting satisfaction from empty words or kisses.
As I reflect back, I realize (and even knew in the moment) my friends care deeply about us, and instead of multiplying kisses, they lovingly wounded me.
I don’t know where I’d be without friends who wound me. I thank God for friends who will wound me with grace and truth instead of simply saying yes to flatter me.
- Do you have friends in your life who will “wound you” because they care for and love you? If yes, who are they? If not, how can you find friends like this?
- Who are you wounding? It’s possible you know you have some things you need to say to someone else. But, you don’t want to hurt their feelings, so you keep your mouth closed.
- Also check out Proverbs 19:25, 26:28, and 28:23 and Ephesians 4:15.
This post originally appeared on Scott Kedersha’s blog and was republished with permission.
Scott Kedersha is the director of premarital and newly married ministries at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He’s a loyal husband and father to four boys.