The Real Friend
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
What makes a person a real friend? His/Her ability to follow the crowd? His/Her inclination to tell you exactly what you want to hear when you want to hear it? To me, a real friend is a person who can minister the words you need to hear rather than the ones you want to hear.
A few days ago, my best friend and I were reminiscing on days gone by. You see, he and I have gone from “running wrong” together to “running right.” We used to encourage each other to do things that the Lord surely did not want us to do. And somewhere in the midst of this conversation, we found ourselves agreeing that our ungodly encouragement seemed so easy while oftentimes, Godly encouragement seems more difficult. So we had to ask ourselves, “Why is this so?”
In most cases, when people come to us for advice, they are seeking approval to do what God has not mandated — whether it’s to plan a little “get back” on a co-worker or to have sex with a person they are not married to. However, in my heart of hearts, I believe the real thing they know they need is a real friend — someone to tell them, “You would be wrong for doing this.”
The bible tells us this: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Another way of putting this is, your friend will always steer you straight, even if it hurts! But please let me back up a moment because right now I’m stuck on the word “faithful.” Faithful, committed, reliable, ever-present, consistent, and constant are the wounds of a friend. As a real friend, you are not satisfied with where your friends are. Instead, you are more concerned with getting them to where God needs them to be. This is why the wounds of a real friend are faithful. As detours arise, you openly have to tell your friend, “Honey, that’s not for you” or “[Y]ou are dating the wrong person, and you need to let him/her go.”
In doing so, you are not a back stabber. You are not two-faced. And you definitely are not playa’ hatin’. You’re A Friend! Even when honesty is mixed proportionately with tact, the truth still seems harsh. But coming from the heart of a real friend and not from the hatred of hell, those words are vital to get your friend to that place called destination.
Also, please take this with a heavy dose of “balance.” This message isn’t a license to go and slay a friend “in the name of da’ Laud!” Instead, it is a confidence builder and confirmation that your friends need you to be a real friend. They need to hear from heaven when the world is telling them, “If it feels good, then do it.” They need you to be honest, open, and sincere with them. They don’t need, as our text puts it, “a kiss from an enemy.” They don’t need something that sounds good, feels good, yet leads them to destruction.
If given the choice, I would rather be wounded by a friend than assassinated by an enemy, regardless of how good one or the other might feel. None of us can ever have enough real friends. So the question we leave you is, “Are you committed enough to God to be a real friend?” I hope so because someone in your life desperately needs to hear the truth.