“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6
Most of us are quite familiar with Proverbs 17:17, which says, “A friend loves at all times…” But maybe we aren’t so quick to quote today’s verse, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” Both are in God’s Word; therefore both are 100% true. So how do loving and wounding co-exist in friendship?
Spiritual accountability is essential to a healthy Christian life. Accountability cannot happen without honesty, and honesty sometimes wounds. A true friend, the kind described in Proverbs, is willing to wound feelings temporarily to accomplish eternal purposes. A real friend will not allow you to continue in sin and will hold you accountable to living a life that glorifies and pleases the Father.
This type of biblical friendship is rare. It is a relationship that requires transparency and trust. It does not feel natural to make ourselves vulnerable. It is not easy to be honest about our deepest struggles, fears, and hidden sins. It takes tremendous faith to put ourselves out there like this, doesn’t it? It is much easier to keep the most fragile parts of ourselves hidden behind a wall of silence.
And while this may feel safe, a lack of accountability actually leaves us the most vulnerable and open to attack. A Christian’s truest enemy is not man, but Satan and the dark forces of the world (Ephesians 6:12). I am convinced that one of his greatest tactics against Christians is secrecy and isolation. When our fear of what other people will think of us becomes more important than personal holiness, we are in a dangerous place.
Do you have at least one person whose wounds you can trust? Is there someone in your life who loves you enough to point out your sin when you don’t recognize it? If not, I encourage you to begin praying for such a person. May you both have and be this kind of godly friend.
Dear Father, I know it is Your will that I live a holy life, and that is impossible to do on my own. I need Your power and grace and the fellowship and accountability of my brothers and sisters in faith. Please bring others into my life that desire deep and biblical friendship. Help me to be this kind of friend to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.