Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.
Do you have a friend that sticks closer than a brother? Do you have someone that loves you no matter what? Do you have a dear one that would even hurt you in order to help you? Do you have one who cares enough to risk your anger by speaking the truth? Do you have anyone who loves you enough to jeopardise your friendship and trust.. by offering a justified rebuke, giving a timely warning or proffering wise advice? If you have just one you are truly blessed. If you have more that one you are rare indeed, for it takes courage to offer a warning word of advice or point out a justified failing.
In this sin-sick world sincerity, love and truth are becoming very sparse. It has infiltrated Christendom with a seeker-friendly gospel. It has spread between brothers in the faith as they try to appease each other. It has penetrated truth in relationships when one won’t risk upsetting another.
A true friend will help to hone and improve your life. A friend that sticks closer than a brother will help to put an edge on your life. Such a friend will make you sharper as a person and help to prevent a fall.
Matthew Henry writes: “It is good for us to be reproved, and told of our faults by our friends. If true love in the heart has but zeal and courage enough to show itself in dealing plainly with our friends, and reproving them for what they say and do amiss, this is really better, though for the present they are painful as wounds. It is a sign that our friends are faithful indeed, if in love to our souls, they will not suffer ill upon us, nor let us alone in it. It is dangerous to be caressed and flattered by an enemy, whose kisses are deceitful. We can take no pleasure in them because we have not confidence in them -(Joab’s kiss and the kiss of Judas were both deceitful) and therefore we have need to stand our guard, that we be not deluded by them: they are to be deprecated – strongly disapproved of.”
To lovingly receive a timely word from a friend is wise indeed. To graciously accept a friends’ counsel demonstrates humility of spirit:- for as iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27.17 And the truly wise man not only accepts but seeks to apply timely words.
God in His love and wisdom uses many forms of child-training in each of our lives. He may use a life experience; a verse of scripture; a thought in the conscience. He may use the tempter’s taunts or the wounding word from a caring friend. He once used a donkey to chasten the erring prophet Balaam!
God is not an indulgent parent nor a cruel one. God will never compromise the standards He seeks in us for our child-training, nor will He administer brutish, cold-hearted correction that lacks of compassion. No child-training for the present is ….. joyous… nevertheless afterward….. Hebrews 12:11 – but this we know.. God chastens all those that He loves as the writer to the Hebrews reminds us. He uses a different method and mode in each of His children as is best for them.
Humility of Heart
In Hebrews the words ‘chastening’ and ‘child-training’ have deep roots.. ‘Chastening’ and ‘child-training’ have roots – deep in HUMILITY. Humility of heart is the Grace that graces all graces when chastening is concerned.
What is Humility?
Humility requires a Teachable Spirit. Humility is born from the Supreme Good – LOVE. Humility is the Garment of Grace. Humility is the Adornment of the Heart. Humility requires us to submit to the Spirit to search out our Secret Sins.
Humility begins with a sense of subordination. Humility points away from Self to Christ. Humility does not feel it’s his right to have better treatment than others. Humility asserts truth and does not to bolster ego. Humility puts the interest of others first. Humility does not control or seek to triumphs in debate. Humility lives as service to Christ and love to the adversary. Humility knows it is dependent upon grace for all knowing and believing.
Our Worthy Example
Humility knows it is fallible. Humility considers constructive criticism and learns from it. Humility also knows that God has made provision for human conviction, and that He calls us to persuade others. Christ also suffered for you leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps 1 Peter 2:21 Christ truly was Our Worthy Example.
27 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.
4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
26 The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
27 And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
5 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
12 And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:
13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.
26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.
30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:
31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.