5 Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
One thing about growing up in a pastor’s home is that there are certain truths that you hear all the time, and you hear them in real life situations. I well remember my dad telling how the wounds of a friend are faithful but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. If you have lived very long, you have known people who only told you what you wanted to hear while you knew they were against you. These are people who at first you think will be great friends but in the end stab you in the back. They never were your friend, they probably have never been anyone’s friend.
The other side of this proverb is that the wounds caused by a friend are faithful. This happens when someone loves you enough to tell you something difficult about you, something that hurts when they tell you. You know the conversation, it’s the one you work up to because it is so difficult to have. Your dear friend, your brother or sister, your husband or wife, or even your parents have a way they do something or say something that always brings hurt to you and they seem oblivious to your hurt. You don’t want to hurt them back nor do you really want to walk away, what do you do?
In this proverb we are called to open rebuke and faithful wounds. We are told that these are acts of love, acts of true friendship. Jesus taught us to take the beam out of our own eye before we seek to remove the telephone pole out of our neighbors’ eye, so the first step of confrontation is to carefully examine our own hearts. Study the Scriptures, pray over your own faults, confess them to God and to others, then humbly confront the one you love about their faults. Be faithful with your wounds, be loving in your approach, your friend or family member may be upset at first, let the Lord work on them. Be a faithful friend.
Yesterday’s message was on a Theology of crisis. As Christians, children of God, we should know enough about God and about His workings with mankind to carry us through any crisis at any time. I have posted this message on YouTube and trust it will help you think about the Coronavirus and our response to it with a biblical basis. Here is the link to that message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7boMKpjLiAw
We are well here in Jakarta. Just like each of you, our lives have been changed as our governments and health officials seek effective ways of protecting us from spreading this virus. I am definitely praying more and for more people that God would keep them during this time. If you have any specific requests, people you are praying for, please let me know and we will add them to our prayers also.
Have a great day in the Lord,