Cut Deeply and Cleanly

By Stan Mitchell
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love, faithful are the wounds from a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy,” (Proverbs 27:5,6, ESV).
Wounds always hurt, but not all wounds are bad. A nail in the foot — dirty and jagged — is a bad wound. So it is also when two cars collide, and the fragile human bodies within are bruised and broken.
But a surgeon’s skillful cut, though the wound is painful, is calculated and designed to help in the end. The wound, cut clean and carefully, will ultimately heal.
That’s the way a friend’s “wound” is, too. The difference between the rebuke of a true friend and a false friend is easy to see. The true friend’s wound — carefully thought out, worded and reworded until the rebuke is perfect, is aimed to help.
A false friend cuts you jagged with his words, unthinking and uncaring, then pours saccharin on the wound, sweet but unhelpful. How much better to have a wise and caring friend tell you what you need to hear, and then add the cleansing antiseptic of his compassion to it.
Antiseptic stings…and cleanses!

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