Proverbs 27:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

These verses from Proverbs tell us it is good to be reproved and faults made known to us by friends. It takes courage to deal directly in matters that can be painful for one to hear. This is better than concealing matters of concern and keeping them to one�s self. When our faults are confronted in love it is a sign our friends are faithful to us in that they have not allow us to continue in harmful and sinful ways. Matthew Henry wrote, �The physician�s care is to cure the patient�s disease, not to please his palate.� In the final verse we also learn to be on guard against those who flatter us for their own regard and are focused only on what they can gain. A way to grasp this is to think of Judas, a disciple of Jesus, who betrayed Jesus with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver.



Pastor Gordon Macdonald wrote: In the earliest days of my ministry, I cultivated the habit of meeting with our board chairman every Monday morning to gain his perspective on how things were going. That's the good news. The bad news was that I apparently bridled whenever he told me unpleasant things � that he was either seeing or hearing about. One time when I may have sulked a bit, he leaned across the table and said, "Pastor, you have a trait that you're going to have to whip. It's over-sensitivity. We're not talking about you or how we feel about you; we're talking about your ministry and how we can make it better. Stop injecting your feelings into these discussions." Listen carefully to such a rebuke! Your whole future may be marching before your eyes. Suddenly, someone has put a finger on a character quality that stands between you and your dreams.

The loving wounds of a friend may be painful for a moment, but like a splinter removed the pain quickly ends so the healing can begin. Remember too that you are a friend to others. Are your words given to heal or to hurt? Weight carefully what is said to you and also weight carefully what you say to others.