Faithful are the wounds of a friend…(Proverbs 27:6 ESV)
…the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. (Proverbs 27:9 ESV)
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)
I am blessed to have many friends in Christ. But I consider myself to be especially fortunate to have several friends who love me to the extent they admonish me when I sin, so I may be more like Jesus Christ. I believe these are the friends referred to in Proverbs 27.
I have friends who are willing to wound my ego, in order to challenge my motives. They redirect me to the word of God. They hold me fast in prayer when I am tried and tempted. They are ready to hear my confession and extend forgiveness. They encourage me in difficult circumstances. They live out Hebrews 10:24-25, which says,
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (ESV)
These godly women make me want to be more like them as they reflect the character of Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1 ESV)
As iron sharpens iron – our faith should encourage the faith of our friends.
I read these words and recognize my own shortcomings as a friend. I’ve shied away from speaking hard truths. I’ve held my tongue when I should have shared God’s word. I’ve let fear of rejection keep me from relating God’s transformation of my life. Shame on me.
But, one of my dearest friends recently reminded me, I am righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ and no longer condemned – even by my own conscience.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
Thanks be to God for the faithful wounds of a friend, earnest counsel, and loving admonition.
Let’s be friends who sharpen one another. Heavenly Father, enable us to walk in the wisdom of these proverbs today.