Sometimes Friendship Hurts

There are two verses that deal with friendship in Proverbs 27.  One is obvious and the other not as much.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:6, NIV)

As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)

I think that these two verses are related to one another.  The first tells us that when a true friend offers constructive criticism, we can trust them.  Though it may sting for a moment, the reality of the situation is that they are looking out for our best interests.  This goes along with the second verse.  Those who truly care about us will want the best for us.  They will sharpen us like iron against a sword’s blade.
We all have blind spots in our lives.  There are things we are doing that will cause us harm, but we may not be able to see them as well as others see them.  Listen to your trusted friends when they point out the blind spots in your life.  If you’re behaving in a destructive way, listen to those who are trying to protect you.  Listen to those who truly care about you.  Your true friends won’t flatter you only to watch you fall flat on your face. Those who really care about you will help you see where you are stumbling so that you will be as sharp a sword you can be.  Listen to your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Those in your church family should truly care about you and have your best interests at heart.  Philippians 2:4 says that we should not look out only for our own interests, “but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4, NIV).  So if someone is trying to sharpen you, listen and heed their advice.  If you see someone stumbling and in need of sharpening, sharpen them!  Rebuke them and correct them in a grace-filled, loving way.  We need to look out for each other and help each other as we journey through this life and into life eternal.
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to be a good friend to the people in my life. Help me to put others first today in my relationships. Thank You for the friends I have in my life. Amen.

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