“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”
Many times a good friend will come up to us, out of concern, and let us know that we are doing something wrong. How do we respond to that?
At the same time, a person who is not our friend, may come up to us, and say how doing that same thing makes us courageous, makes us look really good, and makes us so open minded. How do we respond to that?
Our flesh will want to lash out against our friend for criticizing us.
Our flesh will want to accept the compliments of the liars as we puff up our ego.
The problem is that our flesh almost always chooses what’s wrong and what’s ultimately bad for us. A friend’s rebuke may be what we need to turn our life around, and get back on a healthy track. A friend that truly loves you wants what’s best for you. They are not trying to hurt you, and in fact, if they are a true friend, it will hurt them to say those words to you, just as much as it hurts you to receive them. But if we receive them in love, just as they are given in love, those words can save us, and make us better people.
If we listen to the liar who flatters our ears, and makes us feel good about our mistakes, it won’t be long until we fall. And that liar, who we thought was our friend ,because they told us what we wanted to hear, will be nowhere to be found when we need someone to lift us up out of the gutter.
Fortunately, that true friend who we became angry at, will probably still be there with their hand held out, even though we got angry with them and ignored their advice.
Next time someone gives you criticism, stop and think about who it is coming from, and determine whether it’s coming from a place of love, before we lash out in anger. Someone who truly is our friend will not let us continue in sin.
Next time someone gives you flattery, stop and think about who it is coming from, and determine whether it’s coming from someone who loves you, or from someone who is trying to gain your attention for their own gain. We have an enemy who will try to pull us away from God by flattering us any chance they get.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
“Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish”
“A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet”
“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.”
“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin”