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Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6

Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips. Proverbs 24:26

In the process of sharpening iron, there’s a moment of friction. Solomon says the same thing is true with people, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” When befriending others, there are moments of contact, but with contact comes friction. Some of us like friction. We appreciate different opinions, perspectives, and preferences, and we don’t mind sharing our own even when there’s disagreement. Yet, some of us hate friction. We avoid relationships that ruffle our feathers, drive us up the wall, or get all up in our grill, and we tend to keep peaceful acquaintances.

Solomon has more to say on these types of relationships. He says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). He recognizes that friction in friendship has the potential to leave wounds. Whenever we invest in others and make ourselves vulnerable, we risk getting hurt. That’s why life-on-life friendships get messy. Friendships entangle our hearts with others increasing the potential for disappointments, offenses, and heart-aches. Yet, Solomon repeatedly commends friendship, and more specifically, consistent honesty in friendship. He says, “better is open rebuke than hidden love” (Proverbs 27:5) and “whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips” (Proverbs 24:26).

The imagery in both verses is the ‘kiss,’ which beautifully connects the type of friendships we have with the words we speak within them. Honesty is one source of friction but is necessary for strengthening and sharpening a relationship. The wisdom of Proverbs seems to imply that failing to speak the truth only keeps acquaintances, whereas honesty builds friendships. Think about your past and current friendships. Do you tend to befriend peace-keepers and conflict-avoiders to ensure your relationships remain pleasant, or do you befriend those who intentionally challenge you with honest words to strengthen your character? Today, think of the honest person in your life. Consider how that person’s honesty, though it may have hurt, helped you grow. Send that person a quick text or a note describing how their honesty has helped you. Don’t wait. Thank them today.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text 0=””]

By Yvonne Biel  

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