January 27, 2017
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Some days ago we explored the gift of friendship in a profoundly positive way. Friends are those people who take the time to “see into” us and help us understand ourselves. They patiently help us sort the complexities of our lives and encourage us to persevere in becoming our true selves.
A real friend “fragrances” your life. There’s something really winsome and fresh about a person who knows how to wear perfume or cologne. It becomes a smell by which you “know” them. It’s always a welcome smell and one that lingers long after they have departed. It produces a “pleasantness” in your life; even joy. That’s how Proverbs describes a friend.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs also shows us the other side of the friendship coin. It’s not all roses. It brings to mind a dissimilar but unrelated set of smells and fragrances. My two daughters love to assault bad smells with overdoses of Febreze. (O.K., so here’s an irony. As I typed in Febreze the auto-correct spelled it as Faberge’.) In our home, or worse in our mini-van, if your olfactory senses are overtaken by a concentrated dose of something like “Ginger Verbena,” or “Strawberry Fig,” or “Violet Bloom,” you can bet you are either sitting near the culprit or the culprit is you. You’ve been “Febreezed” they like to say. It’s not a pleasant experience. Besides the obvious insult of being Febreezed, there are the “burning eyes,” and the pungent “air freshener” doesn’t soon dissipate. Hours after the assault, the odor morphs into something akin to carpet deodorizer on the second day. “Effective but unpleasant,” might be a good way to characterize the experience. Here’s how Proverbs describes such an experience:
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Yes, I’m talking about the trustworthy wounds of a friend. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” another translation has it. Only your friends will “Febreze” you. They are trying to tell you something you need to hear. It may hurt your pride or offend your sensitivities or make you mad as a hornet, but you must remember this: They did it because they love you. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” They can be trusted.
So how about you? You been “Febreezed” lately? ;0)
I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 28.
Abba Father, thank you for always speaking the truth in love to us. Thank you for friends who will do the same. Help us to be those kinds of friends to others and let us so become the fragrance of Christ in the world. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.
1. Do you have friends who are willing to “febreze” you when needed?
2. Have you ever given open permission to friends to speak the truth in love to you?
3. Are you the kind of friend who is willing to be a gracious truth teller when needed? Think of a time when you did.
Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.