Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Proverbs 27:6 : Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern],
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].
If your friends are always nice to you, then you need new friends.
I am very privileged to be blessed with the friends I have. Sometimes I go to them expecting a pity party, and they ALWAYS set me straight immediately. It doesn’t feel good, sometimes I wish they’d be a little more sympathetic, but whosai , they’ll let me have it!
A friend once told me ‘Emeka work hard’. I almost felt bad. Couldn’t he see that I spent most nights sleeping in school? That I tried to fill every possible minute with ‘work’? But he wont let me rest on whatever minuscule achievements I may think I have. It may leave me uncomfortable, but it will help me.
We need friends who will always tell us the truth.
Unfortunately, I am blessed with them in abundance. I remember one time, I had experienced a ‘failure’, and then I friend confronted me, I began to tear up, and the friend was not moved. “Emeka, these are not sincere tears” she told me. In my mind I was like ‘Eh, how can you be this mean, I haven’t cried in years, and now I am crying and you say I am not serious”? Maybe they weren’t crocodile tears, but it wasn’t brokenness on deepest level. (See, I am still defending myself, last-last, I go dey alright).
We need friends like Nathan who can point at us and say ‘You are the man David”. “You are at fault”. I heard a man I respect say that one of the reasons why Solomon failed at the later part of his life was that we could not see in scripture where he had a man who could point at him and say “you are wrong here O wise king! Your wisdom has turned to foolishness’! If he had a Nathan. Or an Elisha.
When people care enough to spend their time to be concerned about us, amidst the myriad of things they have to do, we should even if it’s for an infinitesimal second give thought to what they have to say.
It may be foolish. Fine, you have learnt one way not to approach a situation.
Our friends who love us will confront us. Sometimes fiercely and blatantly. If they see us in a wrong they will scream heaven down till we choose to ‘have sense’.
You can trust those wounds. They are not cutting you to kill you, they are cutting you to heal you.
If they see you being mediocre, they will challenge you to wake up, because friends do not leave a man behind.
They can see greatness in you, and so they will force you to recognize it!
They know you, if they see you being anything less, they will not allow you one minute of breathing space till you rise.
Their methods may hurt. But look at the lessons look at the reason why.
At the hospital, when they have to give an injection, it hurts when the needle is piercing the skin, but it is to make you better.
Someone who says, ‘oh, sorry, you can rest, its nothing”. “ ah what can you do? You cannot ‘come and kill yourself’. Rest ‘jor’. Relax. Ah, what is it ‘sef’“ is an enemy! Run from the person! As far away as you can. And if you have said same to a person when you know you are being complicit in their complacency, you are not a good friend.