The other day, as I was driving home from dropping my daughter off at school, praising and worshipping and interceding, the Lord reminded me of 3 scenarios.
Three events in my life.
Three moments that have literally changed the course, the momentum, the attitude and the impact of my life.
Three moments where someone who loved me, someone who cared about me spoke a word of correction, a word of admonition into my life.
Now, those moments weren't easy. Correction rarely is.
And they weren't fun. It's not usually "fun" to be shown an area of your life where you're living in deception.
But they were life-giving.
And they definitely brought about change.
And as the Lord reminded me of each of these events, He said these words: The wounds of a friend can be trusted.
And I realized. I realized!
All this time, as I'd been reading this verse from Proverbs 27 or hearing it spoken about in messages or sermons, I'd been receiving it with a mindset of fear.
With a mindset of fear and with colored glasses of rejection.
You see, I used to read it and think: "Wow, Lord, okay. Thank You for the warning. So, I'm going to be hurt. And I'm going to be hurt by people who say they are my friends. Got it. I can trust that this is going to happen. Right. So I better prepare myself now. I better put guards up. Not let people get too close. Protect my heart and my emotions. Got it. Thanks, Lord, for the warning."
But then, as I started to heal. As I started to understand and experience who God really is. As I started to open up my heart to my Father and His people, I read it this way: "Ok, Lord, You're right. Wounds of a friend can be trusted. There's something they think I need to know or learn or do, and so they're gonna tell me and it's gonna hurt, but I can trust them. I can trust that they think they are doing what's best, and after all, nobody's perfect, so I will simply cover their hurt of me with Your love. I will forgive them for being mean and we both can learn from it and move on."
Still a mindset of fear. But with a huge dollop of pride and judgement thrown in the mix!
But God! Hallelujah!
As God is healing me, healing my heart, healing my emotions, healing my mindset and belief system, He is showing me His heart! His emotions! His mindset! His belief system!
The mindset and belief system of Heaven!
Oh, my friends, the wounds of a friend can be trusted!
Does it hurt sometimes to hear the truth about how we are thinking or acting or believing? Yes!
But those who love you, those who care about you, those who are truly your friends - not just someone you shop with or fish with or eat with or hang out with - but those who truly care about you, as a person - when they speak a word of correction or admonition into your life, you can trust it! You can trust that what they say is in your best interest! For your good. And for the good of the people around you!
Today, I want to encourage us as a church, as a people, as a family: Let's be ones who accept correction. Let's be ones who accept admonition. Let's be ones who accept the life-giving words of those around us, those who love us, those who care for us!
Yes, yes, yes! The wounds of a friend can be trusted!
Thank You, Jesus!
Wounds from a friend can be trusted... from Proverbs 27:6 NIV
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16 NIV
So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV