The Other Side of Friendship

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6 (ESV)

“Boyfriend Stealer!” Me? No way. I was a Christian! Yet that is exactly what I overheard in my college dorm over 40 years ago. Yes, I had, in a moment of hilarity, dumped ice and soda on the head of a handsome student, who just happened to be “taken.” Still, when the awful truth was official (ouch!), tears of self-pity flowed.

That weekend, alone in the dorm, I found my friend Donna ironing with her door open. Surely she would understand how unfair this was. But pouring out my trouble didn’t move her. Instead of commiserating, she allowed a long, tense silence to replace the oxygen in the room. Finally…

“So this is about you? Really?” Then with narrowed eyes boring into my soul, she said, “You are wrong. Flirting makes you look cheap, and it hurts whoever has a claim.”

Whoa… I was stunned, my petulant selfishness exposed! However, a strong desire to please God prompted a split-second decision.  Sure her words hurt, badly.  But I chose to thank her. These wounds were those of friendship. And ever since that day, I have thanked God for the other side of friendship.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for a courageous, honest friend. And Lord, let me be so in tune with you so as to be that kind of friend- when necessary.” Amen


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