The Wounds of a Friend
The Wounds of a Friend
A person might tend to really bristle up and get angry when reprimanded by a relative or friend. But, that relative or friend is someone who actually cares much more about us than just someone we don’t really have much in common with. When a loving relative or friend tells us we’re headed in the wrong direction, they are saying that from the very depths of their heart. They truly are feeling so anxiously concerned that we are in grave danger and headed for a painful experience. They greatly desire to help and save us.
Proverbs 27:6 puts it in a way that should make us all think. It says,
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
The loving relative and friend fully realizes that they will be hurting our feelings when they speak up to warn us about our circumstances. They know us well enough to realize that we will become angry with them and tell them our life is none of their business. Nevertheless, their love for us will cause them to speak up anyway, because they cannot bear seeing us get hurt. Such is the true love of a real friend. They are willing to “wound” our feelings in order to help us in the end.
Enemies are different. They don’t give a hoot about us, but will deceitfully pretend to be ever so loving. They have some sort of ulterior motive and will feign a loving friendship so long as they can continue reaping whatever benefits they desire. Because they gush over us and cause us to feel befriended, it is so easy to fall prey to their deceitfulness.
James had a truly loving heart towards all the Jewish Christians in the early church. But, those Christian friends of his were sinning big time and James was very concerned about their eternal welfare. So, James willingly “wounded” their pride and loose life style by writing to them and saying in James 4:4-10,
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
This letter from James comes from the heart of a true friend. James wants all of us to be a true friend of God Almighty, our Savior and King, so that we may live eternally. James is displaying a tough love because his love is a true love — a love that cares about our eternal life.
Let us appreciate James’ words and maintain a true friendship with our Lord — proving that friendship in our daily living. Then in the warmth of God’s love, the Lord will lift us up in the joy and peace that can come only from Him. And, then we say, “Hallelujah! Heavenly Father, all Your ways are so good and right. Let us always live according to Your precepts as a true friend.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.