THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND
“Diane, I don’t want to be disrespectful but it smells like your house is burning down.”
I had a guest over and we were deep into conversation. My guest interrupted the flow of our discussion to announce her nasal concern. I too, was aware of an odd smell but the windows were open and because there is always some kind of renovation going on in this neighbourhood during the summer months, I wasn’t alarmed. We carried on talking when suddenly, I remembered I was broiling something in the oven. I opened the oven door and a billow of smoke stung my eyes. There was the culprit – a tray of blacker-than-black cashews.
I reached for the oven mitts, grabbed the hot tray of burnt nuts and ran out onto the back deck. I quickly closed the door but the damage was done – the disturbing smell lingered for hours inside the house.
A few minutes later, I received a text from my husband, who was quietly working in the back room.
Guess I forgot to tell you that the cashews (that I bought) were already roasted
I can always count on Chris to make me laugh but as I threw ten dollars worth of cashews in the compost pail, I was reminded of how easy it is to rationalize wrong-doing and ignore the admonishment of a well-meaning friend.
You can be heading in the wrong direction and the warnings are given but your justifications are stronger. Before you know it, the damage is done and the stench remains.
I have always loved the profoundly wise words of Solomon.
Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27.5,6 NASB
We can purposely arrange life so that we are surrounded by people who only agree and praise us but that kind of existence is ill-advised and futile. Life is so much richer when we chose healthy relationships, in which friends care enough to lovingly confront and tell the truth. The wounds inflicted by a friend are valuable, long-lasting, and God-honouring.
Cherish those friends that are honest, even when it hurts.