“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”(Proverbs 27:6. ESV.)
Ooh boy did I get a good dose of this proverb just recently! And I do not feel my words could ever describe how thankful and fortunate I am to have such a friend who came to me and confronted me though she knew I would be wounded. A dear sister in Christ, someone who knows me day in and day out beyond the mere scratching of the surface, noticed I was battling terribly with my sin. She says her heart became very heavy and she prayed for me every day. I cannot say I was blind to my sin, I saw it there blaring at me. I simply did not care to address it. Thankfully my dear friend did care.
With tear filled eyes she sat before me and shared her heart holding me accountable for my ugly sin. Though this kick in the pants felt more like a kick to the head my friend and I knew it was needed and deserved. I was not living as God has called me to live as His daughter. And when you are a daughter of the King, ignoring or smoothing over sin is not an option! For at least an hour after my sister in Christ confronted me I fought with my own sin even further. The sins of frustration and resentment (not toward my friend but toward others), self pity, pride, and selfishness filled my body and my flesh tingled as the sin coursed through it. My sister in Christ was afraid she had offended me.
Gradually the initial shock of it all wore off and I am now left with an indescribable awe of God at work. He knows what it takes to draw me ever closer to Him. No, I’m not mad at my beloved friend. I am filled to the brim with joy because of her faithfulness. If only I was that true to others in my life. Yes, faithful are the wounds of a friend…and quite painful wounds they might be at that! We are called to encourage one another as iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17.) And that is exactly what we should be doing!
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."(Matthew 18:15-20. ESV.)
© 2009 B.T.P.