Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Proverbs 27:6
Honesty is the most difficult part of friendship. It feels like a wound.
If your friend is doing something dishonest, unethical, or immoral, you have an obligation as a friend to say something. We often refrain because this honesty will put the friendship in jeopardy.
The moment the conversation is withheld though, the relationship begins to deteriorate. If someone talks to you about anything – even if wrong – you lose a friend.
Have you asked friends, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Their response, “I didn’t know how you would react.” True friendship listens softly. Friends do not have to speak bluntly or loudly because you notice their hesitancy quickly and ask their thoughts.
I always listen. Ha, just the opposite! Usually, my friends must club me before I listen. The person who has the courage to do this is a true friend.
There is another wound about friendship – betrayal. An outright offense.
“Et tu, Brute?” as Julius Caesar said to Brutus (his supposed friend) as he was stabbed on the floor of the Roman Senate. “You too, Brutus?” as his friend participated in stabbing him.
There will be “Et tu” moments in all relationships. Not as bad as assassination, but seemingly so in the moment. You will say to your friend, “I can’t believe that you did this.” Most of my best friends have hurt me deeply, but I have also wounded them.
Forgiveness deepens friendship and honesty. I trust the wounds of a friend who has forgiven me many times.
There is a final wound to friendship – confessing Jesus.
This is a legitimate wound. Beliefs and actions often conform t0 our friends’ thinking. The peer pressure of friends must be submitted to Jesus. Turning away from a friend’s suggestion is one of the most difficult decisions that you can make.
When I became a Christian, a friend came to my house and while pulling out a bottle of whiskey said, “I hear that you have become a Christian. We need to get drunk.”
I refused and lost my friend.
You can profess the “living alone on an island” philosophy but we need friends. They will wound or help or assault. The only perfect friendship has been sung about for years, “What a friend we have in Jesus.”
Jesus said to Peter in John 21, “Peter, I still want to be your friend. Do you want to be my friend?” Peter replied, “I can’t be perfect in my love for you. I am so sorry for betraying you, but I want to be your friend more than anything” (This is an OGV of the discourse between Jesus and Peter.).
The difficulty of following Jesus is that He speaks truth. We need to honor other friends who do the same.