Deep Love | An Open Rebuke From a Friend
Have you ever been wounded by words? Like not the wounding that comes from angry words, but woundedness that surfaces when there’s a thread of truth held within the words?
Proverbs 27:6 describes it like this:
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Saying hard things to a friend is hard. Being on the receiving end isn’t any easier especially when the words ring true.
I remember when my son brought home a cat from college. One of the scariest things was clipping his claws. The end of the claw is just dead cells so you could clip away as long as you could wrestle him down! But, if you cut too short, you’d hit nerve endings that would send the poor guy through the roof!
Years ago, I read a book called, “Let Go“ written by Francois Fenelon, a Christian from the 1600’s. He describes the idea of woundedness from a friend like this:
If a friend confronts you about something you’ve said or done, & it doesn’t sting inside, then there may have just been a misunderstanding. Kinda like clipping a cat’s dead-cell claws. But if the words wound, they’ve hit something alive inside that needs to be addressed.
If our friends address something that simply doesn’t resonate, then let’s believe the best about them & love them for loving us enough to address it!
If what they say hurts inside, there may be a thread of truth that need be addressed. We can still love them for approaching us with a hard topic that will only help us grow!
Honestly it’s a win-win either way! We grow close when we trust them to say hard things. We can choose to change when it resonates or let it drop like water off a duck’s back when it doesn’t.
An open rebuke is far better than hidden love. Sometimes our actions cause others to hide their love. How might our relationships grow & change if we embraced an open rebuke for the deep love that it truly is?
Father, guard us from the pride of thinking that we need to appear perfect. Let us embrace the loving counsel & correction from a friend. Give us compassion for the messenger because it can’t be easy to say hard things. Help us cherish an open rebuke so that others need not hide their love from our thorny places 💕