Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Faithful Are the Wounds of a Friend

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy." Proverbs 27:6
When I was younger and 'older' people would say that you can count your true friends on one hand . . . well, I honestly didn't believe them. I thought I had lots of true friends. Looking back, I really think I had a lot of friends, but unfortunately time is not easy on friendships. Friends move. I moved. Friends got married. I got married. Children are born - more children are born - more children are born. It's not that you do not want to keep your friends, it just gets more challenging. So true long-lasting friends are a rare thing. Turns out those 'old' people were right, you can count them on one hand most of the time.
Over the years I have realized that there is a distinction between friends, and true friends who are not afraid to wound you. I am not talking about mean friends who abuse your friendship. I am referring to friends who will hold you accountable. Friends who will lovingly and gently point out when you are being a . . . . difficult person who is not glorifying God. Friends who are not afraid to wound your ego or burst your bubble because they are committed to walk out the journey of life with you - even when you make bad decisions.
Girls, I need these friends. You need these friends. I am especially mindful of true friends right now for different reasons. One of these reasons is that I unintentionally hurt a friend of mine with a comment I made (as you girls get older you will realize that this is not a shocker when it comes to your over-opinionated mother). This friend had the integrity and love to talk to me about it. Girls, I was disheartened to think that something I said caused this friend doubt or discouragement, but I was more grateful to her for confronting me rather than gossip, slander, or avoid. I know it was not easy to confront, but I truly appreciated the opportunity we both had to exercise love to one another.
Some true friendships may float in and out of your life for various reasons, and some may withstand the test of distance and time. I have experienced both types. One true friendship that has been with me since birth is that of your Tia Kelly. Yes, she is my sister, but she is a true friend who is not afraid to wound me in order to help me become a better person.
Papi is also a true friend who is committed to wounding me so that I may be a better reflection of Christ. If you scroll down a few more verses in Proverbs 27 you will read verse 17, which may be a familiar verse. "As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens one another." This is part of a true friendship as well. In fact In John 15:15 Jesus calls us friends if we do what He commands. What is His command? His command is to love each other like He has loved us.
Girls, my prayer is that not only will you find true friendships with people and be a true friend to people . . . but that you will be true friends to each other. You each have 4 built in true friends, and I hope that those friendships will be cultivated throughout your lives so that you girls are actively sharpening each other to God's image.
Do not be afraid of the faithful wounds of a true friend for they are to sharpen you and place you before the only One who can truly transform you into His friend.