Do you have people, whom you felt were very dear friends, and yet their words seem to pierce your heart like a dagger? Read with me the following scripture and footnotes to see what God’s Word has to say about a sincere friend.
(Proverbs 27: 6) “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Footnotes) “Who would prefer a friend’s wounds to an enemy’s kisses? Anyone who considers the source. A friend who has your best interests at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good. An enemy, by contrast, may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin. We tend to hear what we want to hear, even if an enemy is the only one who will say it. A friend’s advice, no matter how painful, is much more valuable.
25 thoughts on “A friend:”
Needles gives us this great advice from her footnotes: “A friend who has your best interests at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good. An enemy, by contrast, may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin.”
Love this! This counsel also opens your eyes to those that are your enemies and not your friends. You may think you have a good friend but they tell everybody but you what they think about you and never ever share advice with you to help. O, how we desire friends that would give us advice, help and counsel. Honesty and integrity in my mind’s eye says healing. It is like having a great Bible Teacher bring the Word of God. The Word in action can bring healing, help and love.
Maybe it is wise to pray for a friend full of advice…..I have a few thank God.
“Do you have people, whom you felt were very dear friends, and yet their words seem to pierce your heart like a dagger?” A dagger must be truth, is that right? Like unto two-edged sword being God’s Word.
Thanks, Needles for this blog-line:
“Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness ”
Sometimes the good counsel, advice or even correction (chastening) by a friend could “raise one’s dander.” But if the ‘friend’ is truly a tried and true friend then it is best to bite the bullet, practice self-discipline for the occasion and take the advice from someone who cares about how you look, or act or behave in certain areas.
You will be the better for it. When someone ‘flatters’ you for their own personal gain or to gain and advantage, so to speak, it is usually a LIE and when we buy into the flattery we are enablers and participants. A true friend won’t do that. “There is a Friend” Who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus.
That’s the kind of ‘friends” I want.
Yes, Sara, I believe the “dagger” is truth…..that is, unless it isn’t from a sincere friend?? (right?)
Yes, the “dagger of sincere truth” is to the heart. The “Dagger in the back” is from the
It seems to me that sweet words may ease the conscience for a short while, or appease an addiction or make us feel important, but eventually we are left more entangled, sicker or crippled and in greater bondage to our self. Only the truth makes us really free (John 8:32). And when we are really free we are of some use to the Lord Jesus and to others.
Debi quotes Jesus on truth above. Just before vs. 32 came 31…Truth with action…”You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.” John 8:31
Wonder how often a good friend gives us godly advice and we apply it. So often I find myself reading and quoting scripture and it sure seems way off the wall in living the modern lifestyle.
Needles, this blog leaves my head a bobbing. Friend, truth, speaking, and doing! Enemy-kisses! The wee hours of the morning, 4am says, wake-up and look deep within and see if you are a truth giver and a truth hearer? If you are a friend or an enemy? And, if you consider yourself neither, what are you? And, do you know your friend from enemy. That part about an enemy giving me kisses all day makes your mouth feel like a sour ball got stuck and won’t dissolve. I have heard we have very few friends throughout life. Wonder if we really don’t want them? Or, just truth is a block to having a friend.
Gwen Shaw’s book, writing about the friendship between Paul and Barnabas and the John Mark situation, says this; “Often two dear friends who get along beautifully for years are parted when a third person influences the one who has the subordinate position. At that time the one who did the leading finds himself losing that “flowing together” that beautiful ‘oneness’ of spirit. This is a very painful experience…(as it was for Paul especially in this situation). And so the two men parted company at that time.”
However, the book later says, that the Lord God Christ used that situation and turned it to the good.
When there are honest disagreement, it seems, that true friends can work it out eventually if they allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them, convict them of what is right and make amends. As in Paul’s case I do not believe that Paul held a grudge, even like some good friends might in some situations, because Paul, some time later, asked for John Mark to join the team as he would be useful to the ministry. Praise God
Grudge holding among friends is utterly hurtful. You love someone but you are still hurt & upset for time to come even after reconciliation.
Maybe the truth is we need separation so both can grow. Maybe the relationship has grown toxic.
Proverbs 26: NCV
24 Those who hate you may try to fool you with their words,
but in their minds they are planning evil.
25 People’s words may be kind, but don’t believe them,
because their minds are full of evil thoughts.
26 Lies can hide hate,
but the evil will be plain to everyone.
27 Whoever digs a pit for others will fall into it.
Whoever tries to roll a boulder down on others will be crushed by it.
28 Liars hate the people they hurt,
and false praise can ruin others.
Needles’ scripture from NCV “It is better to correct someone openly
than to have love and not show it.
6 The slap of a friend can be trusted to help you,
but the kisses of an enemy are nothing but lies.”
…and get this: Proverbs 28:9 (NCV)
“If you refuse to obey what you have been taught,
your prayers will not be heard.”
And, they even say they are praying for you. O me, o my while one may perish thinking someone is praying for them. Proverbs has chips of wisdom. And, these chips might do more harm to the body than a big o bag of potato chips.
I know very few people who will speak truth as they see it in your life. I have one who always speaks truth (God’s truth). It is always because she sees where you should be going and HATES the detours either you cause or the devil causes and you listen to him. I call this friend the boot. She gives a big kick through using the word of God which propels you down life’s highway, drawing you closer and closer to Jesus. The kick might hurt our emotions but the soul is gratified. Thank God for Godly Wisdom Filled Friends.
In thinking about this blog, I was reminded of a retreat we had a few years ago, “Throwing Your Light Forward: Relationship, Friendship, Fellowship.” On page 11, of my workbook, from this retreat, Sara uses the four “C”s (the way a diamond is graded) to grade our light, in relationships. (cut, clarity, color, carat) I would like to insert what she wrote, to see if it can help with this blog.
(1) “Cut: what are you using for your Archetype or pattern?” (“Archetype: the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based”) (2) “Clarity: What standards do you use to determine the amount of clouds and fractures in your heart when relating to others? (read Psalm 139: 23 &24 and Luke 6:45 for a spiritual heart test)
Psalm 139:23&24 says: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Luke 6:45 says: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
The footnotes for the verses in Psalm lead me to Matthew 5:44. “In that way, you will be acting as children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
(3) “Color: Are you reflecting light from and on the gemstone(s) of your life? Are you a Ray of Hope? (Read Matthew 13:45,46 and Zechariah 9: 16-17 NASB to see how God values us as Jewels)
(4) “Carat: What scale of measurement do you use in weighing your relationships? ‘All the ways of men are pure in their own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.’ Proverbs 16:2” Look at what I found for the footnotes here in Proverbs 16:2. “People can rationalize anything if they have no standards for judging right and wrong. We can always prove that we are right. Before putting any plan into action, ask yourself these three questions: (1) Is this plan in harmony with God’s truth? (2) Will it work under real-life conditions? (3) Is my attitude pleasing to God?”
Interesting note from page 14, of that same notebook. Read with me: “According to Scriptures our hearts are the source of faith, hope, and love. It is the wellspring of creativity and the essence of our being. Proverbs 4:23 give us a preview into the heart. ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.'” Read with me the footnotes for verses 23-27 of Proverbs 4. “Our heart–our feelings of love and desire–dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to guard our hearts above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections lead you in the right direction. Put boundaries on your desires; Don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.” Woe, easier said then done, when we don’t die to that flesh daily, wouldn’t you say??
Needles, thank you! I know you have really done a God thing. Confirmation, etc. in the spirit. I can’t wait to get to my computer and settle in and read and study this. Thank you for being there!
“Put boundaries on your desires; don’t go after everything you see…..keep your eyes fixed on your goal(s). If we can do this, it makes way for the not only the friendship of the Holy Spirit but for Fellowship with Him.
Just thinking about this concept…boundaries concerning wants and desires, ( as opposed to NEEDS) Don’t even go there. Boundaries concerning friends. Other teachers have taught on this, but I remember Brother Wallace Heflin addressed our fellowship saying that the Lord sends certain people at certain times to accomplish His will and plan…and then they may leave. Some come into a fellowship to aid and assist. And some come to stay and be in close friendship and fellowship…like bosom buddies. But there are boundaries that should be observed to keep us, as Sara writes, from being sidetracked.
Needles wrote from workbook “(2) â€œClarity: What standards do you use to determine the amount of clouds and fractures in your heart when relating to others? (read Psalm 139: 23 &24 and Luke 6:45 for a spiritual heart test)”
Needles, I haven’t gotten much past this statement. Let me see if I can sort this in my thoughts on some of my relationships. Psalm 139:24 “… is there any offensive way in me,…”Clarity…Not telling truth would be an offensive way in me, would it not? Needles, I have heard you say often there must be ‘trust’ in relationship. If one could not trust me telling them the truth how could we have relationship? Truth and trust. Ok, let’s look at Luke 6:45 (NIV) ” A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” If I do not use trust and truth in my communication the clarity shows and clouds can affect a diamond’s ability to transmit and scatter light. “Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more valued, with the exceedingly rare Flawless graded diamond fetching the highest price.” WIKIP
“â€œAccording to Scriptures our hearts are the source of faith, hope, and love.It is the wellspring of creativity and the essence of our being.” Please someone(s) tell me why we would tell a lie, fudge on the truth, deceive and lose our creativity and the very essence of our being.” I guess Pride we like so we are zombies.
Proverb 26:18 Just as damaging
as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
19 is someone who lies to a friend
and then says, â€œI was only joking.â€
Proverb 27″ “17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
19 As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.”
Referring back to Needles’ points on clarity: Footnotes, â€œPeople can rationalize anything if they have no standards for judging right and wrong. We can always prove that we are right. Before putting any plan into action, ask yourself these three questions: (1) Is this plan in harmony with Godâ€™s truth? (2) Will it work under real-life conditions? (3) Is my attitude pleasing to God?â€
Communication-relationship-triangleship makes for a plan. Setting your diamond, your plan into action first and foremost is to be in harmony with God’s truth.” Real communication, face to face confrontation, and attitude must have all the components in order. How many times do we start out in our communications/relationships with God’s plan but as soon as we have to give credit to God and His servants that He has used we crack. Our attitude is not pleasing to God. Therefore, out goes God’s plan and in comes man’s. Proverbs also says, “You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.”
Sometimes we have to face our own dilemma are we dealing with fools? Or, are we fools? When we start out with God’s plan and then God opens a door for us to give story to His plan and we say, “O, no way, God, I will not give credit to this person that you have used for this. I will lie. Have mental disorder, deceive or call the cat out of the bag with a substitute. But, You, God will NOT get any praise from my lips. Can’t you see God I am the god and you are the servant!!!!
How strange that we want our story to be about us and not God and His way of creating.
Jesus said “I no longer call you servants, but I call you friends” Hum, it must take a life time or it must be eternity if and when one ever makes this cut!
Sara asked us to read two scriptures above and when I read Luke 6:45 (NIV) which she then quotes and comments on, I had a few thoughts about ‘good stored up in his heart”. The verses prior to this speak of trees bearing fruit, either good or bad. And ‘good stored up’ makes me think we had to pick some fruit in order to store it up in the warehouse or packing house of our heart. It didn’t just get in their by accident, it got stored up because we went through the orchard and decided (like Eve) which fruit appealed to us and which didn’t…then we stored it to ship or give it out at a later date.
Needles said, ” Make sure your affections lead you in the right direction.” Seems if some tastes and desires were curbed we would head in the right direction to pick fruit and store it from a good tree. Maybe runaway desires and affections are seeds that distort our thinking and eyesight so we pick bad fruit. “These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:15 NLT).
From Debi’s comment above I would take from this having a cluster of addictions! Am I right? If so, there must be a process of dealing with this rather than calling it apples and oranges in the orchard….
I believe you are right Sara. You have often said the way to overcome it is to “face it, admit it and change it’. That would mean first of all seeing the addiciton for what it is and calling it by name for what it is, like alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, shopping, other addicitve behaviors, etc. And realizing if there is one in the cluster or bunch, there’s probably others and they are related.
Then we have to work toward changing it. Discipline and accountability over a very long period of time most likely may help. Seems to me that one starts the D&A and then bounces it around like the addiction bounces us around.
The D & A is the root. Persons who have addictive behavior can overcome a certain addiction but because it is the “personna” that is addicted…will find another object of their addictive behavior. So unless, as Sara pointed out today, we are completely delivered of “addictive behavior” i.e. the Fruit of the Spirit Self-control every moment of every hour 24/7, then it is very difficult to gain the victory over the thing. The “clusters” should be the clusters of the Fruit of the Spirit rather than clusters of addictive behaviors…instead of drugs, alcohol, food, narcissism, shopping, control-freaking, it must become Love, joy, peace patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, humility, self-control.
Unless I make up my mind and heart to choose something else besides my addiction…like self-sacrifice for the sake of deliverance, I will always choose the addiction.
Wonder if this verse has gives any hope in overcoming addictive behavior? Rev 12:11 NIV “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”