Truthfulness and Butt-Kissers

Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.   Proverbs 27:6 (NLT)

I read this the other day on a friends facebook post.  What a great verse.  Thanks Mrs. Beverly. 

The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.  Let’s start with the second part, raise your hand

The kisses of an enemy.  Who likes to have their butt kissed raise your hand!  I do.  I like having my ego stroked, my actions praised and my looks complimented.  ( the last one is more a hope than something that actually happens all that often.)  Seriously though, we enjoy it.  It makes us feel good to be appreciated.  We enjoy hearing about how awesome we are.  I have a picture on facebook of Capt. Kirk (Star Trek) and he has a big old cheesy smile on his face.  The caption under the picture says, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.”  You can see it HERE

But Proverbs is trying to warn us about this.  The problem with many “kisses of the posterior” from enemies is they aren’t true.  They aren’t reality.  They are mainly lies.  We believe them because we want to believe them.  Even though sometimes our ego won’t allow us to see them as false, most of us have grown past this.  Most of us see ourselves warts and all. 

It is easy to get the last part of this verse.  The hard part is accepting the first part.  To realize that the wounds from a friend are actually good for us.

The wounds of a friend.  Hopefully you have friends.  I do.  I have a lot, actually according to facebook, I have 205 friends, but I only have one or two that really know the real me.  Only one or two that I truly open up to.  Only one or two that I share my heart and soul with.  Most of the rest are superficial at best, fake at worst.  For those that know me you would probably say I am an out-going and funny guy.  But for those that really know me they would say I am also a closed off and guarded man.  I share easily but I share myself rarely.  I believe most of us are this way though.  I think the Roman Gladiator Adult Costume vast majority only feel comfortable with a few close friends.  I think it is hard-wired in our genes to only allow a few people to breach the walls of our heart, to get past our defenses.  Just as the gladiators of old were trained to keep opponents from getting past their defenses so have we trained ourselves to not allow people through ours.  I can count maybe four people that I have ever let past mine. 

Why?  Why are we this way?  Why are we so guarded?  Why have we built these massive walls around us?  Simple- survival.  The greatest pain I have ever known has come from my friends.  The most hurt I have endured has been at their hands.  But at the same time the most truth I have learned and the most healing has come from them as well. 

The true friend knows what to say and when to say it.  The true friend does not turn from their duty to speak the truth in love even when it means pain for their friend.  I have been on both sides.  I have been the one that truth hurt and the one to speak those painful words.  Neither side is very fun I can assure you.  But the necessity of having and being such a friend is undeniable.  The truth is hard to swallow at times, and at least for me, I tend to need someone to force me to drink it. 

2462264991_419a4d7bd9 My daughter Abby is stubborn.  I mean mule-stubborn (she gets it from my Mom- I get it from my Mom as well, but Abby didn’t get it from me)  The other night she refused to take her liquid medicine.  After 30 minutes of trying to reason with her I finally looked at her and said, “Baby-girl, you’re gonna take that medicine even if I have to force it down your throat.  Now, do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?”  Of coarse she chose the hard way!  I usually do too.  (thanks Mom!)

But once the truth is swallowed and it begins to digest in our soul it becomes sweet and nourishing.  It may be a bitter pill to swallow but it becomes a piece of chocolate cake once we begin to accept it. 

As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. 20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:19-20 (CSB)

Jesus IS truth.  Invite Him in.  Have dinner.  Enjoy the company.


It’s all about Him,

Shawn

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Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

Abandoned

Welcome to 2010.  I hope your New Years celebration was fun and safe.  I rang in the New Year while kissing the most beautiful woman in the world, my lovely Bride of 6 years.  I love you Babe and look forward to another 365 days of fun and love!

444924_90961729 With that being said, a friend of mine and reader of this here blog emailed me and asked if I would write something for her.  She is going through a rough time.  She recently experienced the death of a friendship.  I’ve been there.  I’ve experienced that hurt.  I’ve worked through that pain.  Sometimes I’ve even been the cause of it.  Words are exchanged, meanings are misinterpreted, emotions are trampled.  You feel like a shell.  Like an old abandoned house with the door off the hinges and the windows broken.

This feeling is temporary of coarse, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.  It can feel like the end of the world.

I wish I could pull a Bible verse out of my brain that makes it all better.  I wish I could look at your emotional boo-boo and like I do with my little girl, “kiss it and make it all better”, but I can’t.  I despise “bumper sticker” theology.  It annoys me when I am going through an emotional beat-down and I go to someone and they quote an over-used Bible verse at me like- “Well Brother Shawn, the Bible says that all things work together for good, you just have to hang on.”  I want to scream, “I KNOW THAT!  I’VE GONE TO CHURCH BEFORE!”  ARGGGHH!  Just put your hand on my shoulder and say, “Life sure does suck sometimes but it will get better.”  I don’t like Christian platitudes so I won’t give them to you, unless I’m tired, then I might whip some pearl of wisdom I read on a church sign out and lay it on you.  Here’s my current Worst Church Sign Ever” winner- “Need a lifeguard?  Ours walks on water.” Someone drown me now!

Here’s what I will tell you, Jesus understands.  He felt this pain.  He felt rejected.  One of His closest friends not only left Him but betrayed Him.  He literally got “sold out” by His buddy.  We all know who I am talking about, good old Judas.  Not only did Judas sell Him out but he betrayed Him with a show of love, betrayed by a kiss (like a hug now-a-days).  Read it HERE and HERE.

But that wasn’t the only one who rejected Jesus.  Peter also un-friended Jesus on his facebook page (yes that was a stupid cultural reference to bring the denial of Jesus by Peter into the 2000’s and yes I know it was horrible and yes I know Jesus never had a facebook page).  Read about it HERE1038456_20628481

Oh yeah, all the rest of Jesus’ “BFF’s” (yeah, yeah, I know) also disappeared faster than roaches when you turn on the lights.  Read it HERE.

But perhaps the worst rejection, the most horrible pain was when the dump truck of life backed up and unloaded on Him the mountain of sin that severed His relationship with God the Father, even if only temporarily.

The avalanche of sin and the feeling of utter abandonment by His Father caused Jesus to cry out in desperation at the depth of His pain, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

“Why have you abandoned me Dad?”  “Where are you?”  Where are my friends, my family?”  “Why am I all alone?”  “Will the pain ever end?”  “Why have I been abandoned, cast to the side like used toilet paper?”  (My interpretation of Matthew 27:45-46)

I don’t have a pithy quote or an uplifting Bible verse to make it all right as rain, but I can offer you a Savior that knows where you are, that has felt the pain you feel, that has been abandoned and alone just like you.  I can hold out to you the hope that despite how you feel, you are not alone.  I can council you to place your hand in the hand of Jesus and know that there is at least one that has been where you are and loves you like no other.

This world is full of hurt and pain and abandonment but it is also full of joy and healing and love.  And the only One that can give you that joy, healing and love is the same one that suffered all those things for you and died to make you new again.  Cry out to Jesus, Run to Him.

He’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt (and the scars on His hands and feet as well as His back and face)

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It’s all about Him,

Shawn

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions. Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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You can also check out the Other Resources page for Bible Study Helps as well as links to media downloads, all free!
Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!