Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Pr 27:5-6
Who do you listen to? read? surround yourself with? Is it always warm fuzzies, hugs & kisses and flattery?
Is what you call ‘mercy’ really just a word that has been redefined as ‘the art of making others feel good about themselves’?
How do you receive rebuke? Do you run and hide? Do you retaliate? Do you humbly listen and engage to “see if there be a wicked way in me”?
If all you have are friends that can’t or won’t bring loving rebuke and admonishment (counsel) to you… then you’re either perfect and sanctification is complete (and you should be in heaven) or you have no true friends.
Consider the mercy of God. He doesn’t give us what we deserve… Hell. He doesn’t flatter us or give us a jaded perspective of who we are. In His mercy and grace, He disciplines His children. He does rebuke, chastise, love, exult over, counsel, instruct, and supply our every need. He wounds His sheep in His faithfulness, that we would depend on Him alone.
Don’t run from the faithful wounds of a friend… don’t run from the God who delivers these woundings for your good. And, maybe check yourself… are you aiding a brother or sister who is running and hiding from such wounding? Are you being a true friend?
Have mercy on me,O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!