When people think about what society needs to be changed forever, they rarely think of Proverbs 27:6. Faithful are the wounds of a friend almost sounds like an oxymoron to many people today. The idea that a good friend will hurt you and wound you sounds like they are not a good friend. To understand what is going on, we need to first dig into what the verse says entirely, and then we will look at the problem.
Faithful Are The Wounds of a Friend – Proverbs 27:8
New International Version
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
English Standard Version
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy
The Problem In Society
One of the biggest problems we face today is people only wanting to hear good things about themselves. Social media has made people addicted to positive attention. We only want to do something that will bring us likes and engagement. We are living in a society where people would rather be famous than impactful. People want to be seen as necessary!
Why is this a problem? Because it has redefined how we see friendship and sharpening. Proverbs tells us that Iron sharpens Iron. How can Iron sharpen Iron if it does not hurt a little? The process of being shaped and molded to be more like Christ is NOT an easy one. It will require that you be in a bit of pain, but it’s worth it to be more like Christ.
In the western world, you can criticize anything someone does, and almost immediately, people look to call you a hater and cancel you. Unfortunately, we have not raised a generation that is ready to be changed by the truth. Instead, the idea that you can do whatever you want to do has become the law of the land.
If you see someone deep in sin, don’t call them out about it because you’re just judgy, and the Bible says not to judge. Instead, people use Mattew 7 as their most excellent defense, but it only proves they have not read the Bible.
Should We Judge?
Matthew 7: 1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Most people read verses 1 and 2, and they stop there. But there is more that is needed to make this make sense. It’s not that we should never judge but that we should judge righteously. We should judge to the standard of God and make sure that we are first holding ourselves to that standard.
A good friend should look at your life and want to push and challenge you. A good friend knows that Iron Sharpens Iron, and they will not back down from that. They will judge your sin but first, make sure that they have repented from that sin in their own lives. Everything they tell you is out of love for you and wanting to see you do better.
How This Verse Can Change The World
The verse can change the world because it lays out the truth about friendship and who we should surround ourselves with. Some people who don’t like you will praise you and build you up to watch you fall. They know that what you’re doing is destructive, but they will not tell you. Instead, they will protect you destroy yourself, and secretly smile in the background. It’s sad when you think about it!
A good friend is ready to wound you and hurt your feelings at the moment to build you up more robustly in the name of Jesus. Think about training for a sport, the goal is that you break your body down a bit, and then you rest and can grow back stronger. That is how you get better. But the process requires being torn down first.
A good friend will say what needs to be said even if it tears you down. They know that sin will not lead to righteousness and that you need to repent and turn away from your ways. The only way to have true reconciliation is through Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. Our sins must be forgiven, and we can never achieve that on our own.
When people understand that rebuke and correction are beautiful things, they are able to improve and move closer to what God has called them to do.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Seek Friends That Understand That Faithful Are The Wounds of a Friend
The most important thing you can do is surround yourself with people who challenge you to be more like Christ. If people want you to be more like Christ, they are not going to puff up your ego. They will not look just to tell you what you want to hear. They will match your words and actions up to the word of God.
The standard of living and life is not to be judged based on what any man says is good or bad. We are to look to what God says is good and what God says is right. Then we can match our lives to that and help others to do the same. When you are surrounded by people who live like this they will not tolerate sin. They will be so for God that they will hate sin and expect anyone around themselves to conduct themselves in that way.