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,


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