"Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy."
Proverbs is a treasure trove of wisdom. There is so much within Proverbs that it's nearly impossible to take in more than one chapter a day. Each time I read through it, I feel like I see a verse that I've never seen before, and even though I know that I have, different things speak to you in different seasons.
The latest one to grab my attention is found in Proverbs 27:6, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy." This sounds good, and I think that the majority of us would even agree with it, but when the time comes receive constructive criticism from friends who truly love us, we hate it. We would much rather open our arms up to the praises that people want to throw on us, but we don't always know the intention behind those praises.
The praises of an enemy remind me of the battle of Troy. The Greeks and Trojans fought for years. At one point though, the Greeks presented the Trojans with a massive wooden horse as a trophy. It was meant to be a gift for the Trojans that essentially said, "You win, we're going home. Congratulations!" But the Trojans had no idea that within this massive wooden horse was a special force of men prepared to conquer the city. The Greeks acted like they were sailing away that day, but when night fell, they began sailing back towards Troy. The Greek forces in the Trojan Horse snuck out and opened up the gates to the city of Troy, letting the rest of the Greek army in to destroy the city and win the war. Troy was toast.
Troy thought they were receiving a trophy. They thought they had won. We feel the same way. We let people in our circles who give us a profuse amount of kisses because we think that they're being sincere, and honestly, because it feels good to receive that kind of love. The truth in love is a little more tricky, but a lot more sincere. True love tells you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.
The wounds of a friend are far better than the kisses of an enemy. Do you love your friends enough to hurt them? Do you love your friends enough to allow them to hurt you? The pain is temporary, but the lessons through those painful wounds will serve you far beyond the moment.
Interestingly enough, as Jesus is with the disciples in Gethsemane the night that He is arrested, He sees the torches of a mob headed towards them. Leading the pack is none other than Judas, one of the disciples, someone that the other disciples believed to be a faithful friend and follower of Jesus, but it turns out he was the betrayer. And how did he betray Jesus? With a kiss.
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