by: FCC Staff
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Sometimes it can seem like the author of Proverbs wants us to stop and play a little game of “would you rather…?” and today is no exception. Would we prefer wounds of a friend, or kisses from our enemies? However, the wisdom of this teaching is not an either-or proposition. It is an admission of reality, that we can be wounded by our friends, or on their behalf, all the while our enemies will shower us with kisses.
Of course, this is figurative, poetic language, but in the life of Christ we can see the wisdom of this proverb made manifest and literal. The Prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when the Messiah, “was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
While this was not something that was easy, even preferable, for Jesus. He did it with joy, for what it would mean for us, His friends. (Hebrews 12:2) And certainly, as hard as the cross was to endure, Christ likely preferred enduring that, then the kiss of betrayal he received from Judas. All the same, both were necessary to fulfill the will of the Father, and ultimately lead to the salvation of any who would receive it.
So today, let’s not lament much over the hardships we have to endure on behalf, or because of, our loved ones, or lavish over the false flattery of those who intend us harm. Instead, let’s patiently endure all things, in their season, as we live our lives in Christ’s example, in obedience to the will of the Father. As we follow our own hearts we may want to prefer one over the other. As we allow Christ’s heart to grow within us, we can endure both, be grateful in all circumstances, knowing that all things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28)
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you for loving me enough to call me friend. Jesus, by your wounds I am healed; thank you for bearing them on my behalf. By your Holy Spirit, grant me the wisdom to accept loving correction and dismiss insincere flattery. Guide my steps that in all I experience, I may be made more like you. Amen.