5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.
~proverbs 27.5-6, today’s new international version.
wounds from a friend…what are they?
are they truth spoken in love…truth simply spoken (harshly or otherwise inconsiderately)?
are they words spoken carelessly?
if the wounds are words, is it simply in the manner in which it was spoken, the actual words uttered, an untimely utterance of such words, or a combination of the three?
is it an act of betrayal, broken confidence, or simply lack of concern?
is it an action that seems inconsistent with that of a friend?
wounds from a friend…how can they be trusted?
should i just assume that every word spoken by a friend is a word i need to hear and take to heart?
do i rely on their rebuke, advice, encouragement, and challenges as truth?
must i assume that since i have been the one wounded, i am taking it personally or am just too sensitive?
and how does one go about trusting this friend again after being wounded?
is it always so easy as simply forgiving the one who has hurt us (and how do we just forgive–is it an act of the will to get over it, to forget it, to not allow the painful memory to flood our mind again?)?
do we resume the friendship as it was before the wound was inflicted…or do we take time, pull away somewhat, re-evaluate the friendship and the wounding experience?
must we go to that friend, explaining how we have been wounded and talk it through–or does this leave our wound too exposed?
do we close up or do we open ourselves up even more?
do we go on as nothing ever happened, almost masking the situation until we have dealt with (our emotions following our actions)?
such questions i have been ruminating over in my mind. many still left unanswered…most still plaguing me. i don’t know that there is simply one right answer, while the others are all wrong. i am not even sure there is even one best way, while the others are bad alternatives.
but today, i am presented with other questions…ones that hit close to home, ones that cause me to look at this situation somewhat differently…
what wounds have i inflicted upon my friends? could they always trust these wounds or were they insensitive on my part and not worthy of being trusted?
how have my friends moved from being wounded by me to trusting me again?
i am searching for how best to live in relationship. relationships involve challenges, rewards, tough situations, blessings, sacrifices, selflessness, making our needs known, and putting others above ourselves.
jesus offers implicit instructions on the way of forgiveness when peter poses the question to him:
21 “Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
i know i am to forgive others, those friends who have wounded me…just as they are to forgive me was well. this is the way of relationship–give and take, forgiving and accepting the forgiveness of others, extending grace and receiving it…
may i make an effort to put this wisdom into practice.