Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the WOUNDS OF A FRIEND, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Years ago, a good family friend took me along with her to a carpentry workshop. Unknown to me at the time, she had ordered for herself a Designer Wall-unit for her living room. So, when we got to the wall-unit section, she proceeded to ask of my opinion on a particular wall-unit which had a few remaining touches to the finish.
‘What do your think of this unit? Do you think I should buy it?’ she asked. And of course, my answer wasn’t what she wanted to her. “No, I don’t like the unit. And I gave her my reasons. Moments later, she made this confession. ‘Anyway, this is the one I have ordered. I will be picking it up in a few days.’ For a few seconds, I felt shocked but no, not upset. Why? Because, I knew that my advice could have been the same had I known from the beginning the unit was hers. You see, she was one of those friends that I could tell the truth without the fear of losing them. And hence, my FRIENDLY ADVICE remained the same!
We live in a world where we encounter different kinds of people. We end up having friendships with people who might have different opinions, convictions or outlook about life issues. It is important to always know that friendships which are formed strictly on same mindedness, or goals or aspirations will at some point come to the point of differing. How do you deal with it? Do you walk out on someone who once agreed with you simply because, they are disagreeable on one minute issue? Yet, I see this happening all the time. We refuse the WOUNDS…or FRIENDLY ADVICE of long established friends who wants the best for us and trust only our own biased opinion. And it is even more sad, when it happens in the body of Christ or His church.
But there is a better way as the word put it;
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the COUNTENANCE OF HIS FRIEND.
My brethren, listen to the counsel of your godly friends…yes, for a time it may hurt but it will do you good in the long run. It is God’s will that the church keep the unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Last night at Ladies’ Bible study, we talked about our Godly counsel… those within our circle of influence who we turn to in times of need. Yes, we need those who can speak the truth to us in love, not just about wall units, but most importantly, about the Lord and his truth and how that truth works its way into our everyday lives.
Not sure I’d want you to go shopping with me, though. I might have cried:)
Thanks Elaine. You made me laugh out loud. That is very FUNNY!!!!
I love people! I value friendships so much. Relationships are so powerful. Relationships based on these verses makes for sweet, honey to the soul, friendship.
Hope you have some great ones!
Yes, Tracee…I do have some great friends and I thank God for them!
Thats a nice post. Well written. I am of the opinion, expectations tend to ruin relationships. We need to start accepting people for what they are rather than expecting them to be like what we want them to be. When this happens, I think life will be more peaceful. Whats your take on that??
I do agree with you. People keep on changing…their opinions or convictions…hence we always have ‘grace allowance’ in relationships and friendships.
Handling disagreements in the Church seems like it should be easy. After all, we’re all supposed to love one another, right? Yet this has been a real problem for most of us.
My thought is that the Lord puts disagreeable people in my life to change me, rather than me change them.
Gladwell, I agree with you about what friends are and should be in relation to advice they give and receive. However, as in every relationship, there are moments when things get said and misunderstood and can cause a lifetime of pain. The beauty about God’s love is his forgiveness. To wake up each morning knowing that his MERCY is new and that he sees us as if we are his own and forgets everything wrong is the most amazing quality of God. I have realized oftentimes that when we apply forgiveness to our relationships, it changes the whole equation. I once was wronged by a friend and the issue pried us apart for years and as you can imagine, I was very bitter. I finally was instructed by the Lord to ask for forgiveness even though I was the person hurt by the incidents. It took a lot of strength but I finally did apologize to my friend for holding bitterness in my heart for what he did and you cannot believe how God just changed everything from that moment on. He and I grew as friends from that moment and the hurt and pain inside of me VANISHED! I’m praying for you sister!
Thank you, Vineet. Yes, I do appreciate your added insight on this post. Its true all relationships do go through seasons of testing. I have gone through several such kind of tough times in friendships too and I know that forgiveness is the first step towards restoration and healing into the broken breaches of often long standing and established relationships. I do also thank God for friends like you who are standing with me and my family in prayer.
God bless you.
Great post. I’m actually praying over a couple of my friendships now. I will keep your words in mind.
Good friends are a rare treasure to help us journey through this life. We need each other!
Gladwell, I just wanted to say Thank You for being such a wise and caring friend. I was up early this morning praying for you and your family. While doing so God gave me an incredible idea! It was inspired by you…you’ll see soon. Love E
Hi Elaine. I can’t wait…Our God is full of surprises! Thank you Elaine for being a spiritual mother I can look up to even though we are thousands of miles apart, the love of God binds us together. You have been a blessing and constant friend, and that I am grateful to God.
Blessings as I wait,
Gladwell, this is so well timed! I never told you but I was a Social Worker for 20 years and I used to say I didn’t like it until I left and realized I had learned some valuable things about the science of “people” and how they are. I was Blessed in the Body of Christ that God sent me like minded friends who I value.
We have in common that we are all prayer intercessors and we pray and we have in common (which is 1st) that we love the L-rd; and I believe that keeps us grounded.
God sent people from different countries, ethnicities and financial arenas and professions but we all Blend into one beautiful quilt of friendships sewn together with respect and there is always a lot of friendly advice floating around! So many lessons and we look forward to the challenges! Thanks so much for a pointed reference and interpretation! Love Elaine