Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
(Proverbs 27:6 NIV)
There are understandable and noble sentiments in relationships. One of them is the one that says I will never hurt you. It’s said with the greatest intentions, but thinking it through carefully and realising the decisions and paths people take it should become evident soon that you cannot always live up to that sentiment. Indeed it is causing greater hurt in the future not causing hurt in the present.
I am blessed to have certain people in my life who understood there were times when the best thing for me would cause me a degree of discomfort, pain and for a time my hostility towards them. In as much as I knew they loved me and meant well for me, at the time I was too caught up in the pain of their rebuke or their wounding action. At the time I wasn’t too savvy to consider the wisdom outlined in the proverb above. What proved it over time was their remaining commitment to me and over time my calming down to see how right they were in doing and saying what they did at the time. Of course I had to apologise for my reaction. The level of contrition I felt was all the greater because of their commitment to me and to righteousness in the relationship.
It continues to teach me a vital lesson about relationships, even as my one with my heavenly Father involves Him using a discipline at times that I am likewise not overly thrilled about in that moment. Knowing it’s for my good requires a focus that comes from being reminded of the character of the one who is acting in this manner. As the proverb highlights the wounds are coming from a friend – and a friend is defined by certain qualities that makes their actions and intentions ones to be carefully considered.
I can say it now more than I could say it at the time, I am grateful for the wounds of my friends. (Hey yo, friends, that’s not an invitation, though!)
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden