The Wounds of a Friend Prov. 27:6 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Prov 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” This verse shows us that in, at least, some of our relationships with true friends, we are going to be wounded. Or we may have to wound a friend. The wound may hurt them but it is not intended to harm them.
Wounds take the form of:
Open rebuke – Prov 27:5 – Gal 2:11-14. Where Paul had to rebuke Peter publicly because of his dissimulation concerning eating with Gentiles. This rebuke was for Peter’s good and for the good of the gospel preached among Gentiles. But Peter called Paul our beloved brother in 2 Pet 3:15.
Reproof – Ps 141:5 – 2 Sam 12:7-14. Nathan privately reproved David over the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah. And yet David named one of his sons Nathan in 2 Sam 5:14
Outright opposition – Neh 13:23-31. Nehemiah was furious with the Jews for intermarrying with Ammonites, Ashdodites and Moabites. He had to stop them from any further apostasy and disobedience. And yet God remembered him for good.
Wounds are painful – this is what some call “tough love.” The last thing in the world that you want to do to your friend is to hurt him/her. But if they need the rebuke or reproof, then there is no other option but to show your love that way, in spite of the pain to you and them. But remember that you need to be able to take reproof, as well as dish it out. This kind of wound is like surgery; it hurts but it’s good for you.
Wounds must be completely cleansed – when the wound gets infected with some bitterness and discord, it must be debrided. This often means that you must sit down face to face and talk it out. Sometimes the cleansing process can be more painful than the wound. But if it is going to heal properly then you must go through the cleansing procedure. It may take more than one day to clean a wound.
Wounds need time to heal – you can usually tell that the wound is healing, initially, because it is not as painful as it once was. In time you won’t even know it was there. Give it plenty of time to heal and don’t keep picking the scab.
Wounds may scar – some wounds cut deep and leave a scar like David and Peter whose wounds are recorded in scripture. Don’t get bitter about the person who wounded you; be thankful that you had a friend who loved you enough to stop you from hurting yourself even worse than you did. That scar should be a reminder of a good friend and of a direction you were going that you never want to go again.