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Faithful Are The Wounds of a Friend
7/9/2009

Faithful Are The Wounds of a Friend

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV)


I speak often of our responsibility as Christian men and woman in sharing the Gospel message with others.  It is a commandment of God, and it is our great commission as well by Jesus (See Mt 28; Mk 16).

But equally, we are to be a light unto our Christian brothers and sisters.  

I'm not advocating that we become "Sin detectives" whereas we are sniffing out every issue or bad habit that another believer may be having in their life.  Jesus spoke of this hypocritical way of dealing with other people's transgressions, and He made it a point of telling them that you need to get your own issues right before Him before you go out and look for the smaller issues in another persons life.
 
 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye." Matthew 7:3-5 (NKJV)

Jesus isn't saying that it is wrong to help another Christian with a sin that they may be entangled or struggling with, but that if we have a bigger problem of our own that has not been laid down, then we should refrain from confronting them on their issue and instead resolve to bring our issue before the Lord and be reconciled unto him and restored for helping others.  Once we have in humbleness removed the plank out of our own eye, we now have a responsibility to help our brother remove his speck.  

When we are confronted with seeing sin in another fellow believer, we should immediately stop and pray that the Lord would open our eyes and hearts with respect to the wisdom of how we should handle the situation.  It's not easy, nor is it popular to confront someone with regards to sin.  

Q:    But what if you, after praying and being led by the Spirit in love, confront someone in a sin only to have them rebuke your accountability and attempt to restore them?  

A:    There are biblical principles that show us how we are to do this.

 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17 (NKJV)

Like I said before, it isn't always an easy thing to do when we confront someone, and it may even cause him or her to attack us instead of the problem if they're not willing to humble themselves before the Lord.  Just remember to pray before you speak, and say everything in love.

I believe that we must be willing to confront someone and tell it like it is.  That's real love, and it shows that you care enough to tell the truth when you see them walking on a path that will lead to hardship, more suffering, and even ruin.   Jesus knew how difficult it would be to be a true friend, and that's why He chose you to be that persons friend.  It isn't always easy, but that's what makes you the friend, and that's what makes you Christ-like.

For those who know God, but refuse to glorify Him by abiding in His Word, they will eventually become ineffective in their thinking, and their hearts will be darkened--they will profess to know what's going on, but they will in fact become fools (See Rom 1:18-22).

For others, they will be like King David, who when confronted with his sin, simply stated the truth, "I have sinned against God" (See 2Sam 12:13).    God restored him right then and there.  

I always like a happy ending, but how someone responds to God's counsel through me is really up to him or her.  Whether they're willing to come in agreement with God's will and His Word is going to determine the outcome. Their willingness to submit to God and allow Him to restore them will be solely their choice.  But I must be willing to do what God has called me to do as well, and that does include praying, and encouraging and being that friend.

I want to encourage you today, when you see something that the Lord is prompting you to confront, be willing to be that friend.  Allow God to guide you and be a faithful friend.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the scriptures on this page with respect to confronting others with regards to sin, as well as looking at our own sin within our lives?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you being that faithful friend or are you being hyper critical in sniffing out sin in others?

APPLICATION: Ask God to guide you when seeing sin in other peoples life.  Ask Him to give you the words and the love to confront and encourage that person. Pray before you speak, and do everything in love and truth.  

Father, Thank You for Your faithfulness.  Help me today to know when I should confront others, and provide every word that leaves my mouth.  Give me an abundance of love and grace when I speak to those I am confronted with.  Help me to be a part of that restoration process when others stumble.  May it bring glory and honor to Your name.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000