Today’s Reading: Proverbs 27-31
Today’s Reflection: Proverbs 27:6
6) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Love is the focal point of the Christian life. The ultimate purpose of the laws of God is love (Matthew 22:34-40). In fact, God Himself IS love (1 John 4:8). And we know that love is patient and kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant or rude, not selfish, and rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
But we should also know that sometimes love hurts. Sometimes it has to.
In numerous ways God makes it clear that we are designed to practice our spirituality in community with other people. We see it directly with Jesus and His disciples, particularly the inner circle He formed with Peter, James and John. We also see it symbolically in some of Jesus miracles. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44) He also instructed Lazarus’ friends and family members to free him from the bondage of his grave clothes.
Likewise with us, Jesus restores us to spiritual life by cleansing us from sin, but it is the community of fellow believers He surrounds each of us with who are charged with helping peel away the bondages of our former sinful lives. He places us in community with each other so we can hold one another accountable to what we are each convicted of and to what we have committed to by receiving Jesus Christ as our lord and saviour.
And one of the most important responsibilities of this community is to remind us of the life we’ve chosen—it’s costs, it’s challenges and it’s choices. This sometimes means telling our brothers and sisters in Christ things they might not want to hear.
The proverb tells us a friend’s words can wound, but makes clear this is far better than false kisses that make a person truly an enemy. A true friend would rather lovingly speak words of caution and even rebuke (Proverbs 27:5) than allow someone they care about to stumble into destruction through their faults and sinful behaviour. We each must be willing to be this loving to our friends and also be open to receiving this from those in our Christian community.
Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
Galatians 6:1-2 – 1) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2) Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.