Proverbs 27:6, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
If you were in sin and headed towards trouble, would you want a godly friend to tell you? What if the only way God could open your eyes, would be to use a friend to hurt your feelings, would you trust those wounds? I pray your answer to both questions was, “yes.”
Often times people believe that God values our “feelings” above His Word. We can think that our feelings are the most important thing to God, however, that’s not true. There are many things that God values over our feelings. For example, God values the gospel of Jesus Christ over our feelings. He would rather that the gospel be preached and for us to feel embarrassed, harassed and mocked than for us to remain silent and feel “respected” by the world. Just read the book of Acts or study the life of Paul, to see how the first disciples suffered emotionally (1 Corinthians 4:9-13).
God holds righteousness in a higher place than our feelings. The Bible teaches us that God is like a Father, who would rather discipline us through emotional trials, so we can achieve our purpose, than to allow us to “feel good” about sin. God said in Hebrews 12:6, “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Both words, “discipline and chasten,” by their very nature, infer discomfort and temporary displeasure.
God even said in Hebrews 12:8, “If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” Discipline and correction in God’s kingdom, actually equals love! Certainly, God is not an abusive, moral monster; rather, He is a loving Father that only uses discomfort and temporary emotional pain as a “last resort” to save us from far worse consequences.
On the other hand, kisses, warm fuzzies and good feelings, can be deceptive. Take for example Judas; he didn’t kiss Jesus out of love. The kiss was a signal to the Roman soldiers to identify Jesus for His arrest. Judas gave Jesus the kiss of a friend, but He was really His enemy.
William Gurnall wrote, “God’s wounds cure, sin’s kisses kill.” Remember when Jesus openly rebuked Peter and called him, “Satan,” in Matthew 16:23? Jesus loved Peter enough to temporarily embarrass him, so that he wouldn’t perish. Peter could have written a bestselling book called, He Loved Me Enough to Call Me Satan. Therefore, in your friendships aim to be the kind of friend that speaks the truth in love, even if it hurts other’s feelings. And be open to corrections from your godly friends, even if your feelings get hurt.
Your real enemy is the one that doesn’t care about your soul. They may be your best friend now and support all your bad decisions. However, in the end, you will wish you would’ve had real friends that actually told you truth, even if it hurt your feelings.
It is far better to have your feelings hurt and be right with God than to be kissed and “feel good,” headed for eternal destruction.
- Repent for the times you may have been corrected by a godly person but were offended because your feelings were hurt.
- Ask God to give you good friends who care enough about your well being to tell you the truth even if it emotionally hurts.
- Be the kind of friend who shares the truth in love.