Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. (Prov 27:5,6,9 &10)
What’s Your Friendship Factor?
The sage says real friends aren’t afraid to tell us the truth, even when it hurts. They prefer the healing wounds of loving rebuke to the insidious kisses of flattery. The counsel of our friends heal and make our lives attractive. Real friends are available when we need them, their value to us is not just in the nice things they say to us but in the fact that they are there when we need them. In the day of adversity one friend who is there is worth more than ten who only had nice words and good intentions.
Unfortunately nobody likes rebuke or tough counsel – that may blind us to our true friends. We may be comfortable with those who never challenge us, always tell us what we want to hear and give us kisses and not rebuke. We might not know the true value of our friends if we dont check our friendship factor:
STEP 1: Ask yourself these questions about each friend and
STEP 2: Rate the answer on a scale of 1 (not true for the most part) – 5 (almost always true)
STEP 3: Add the scores
1. My friend tells me the helpful truth even when it hurts
2. The counsel of this friend springs from a selfless concern to make me a better person
3. My friend is there for me when you I need someone
If the total is above 10 then hold on to that friend – open rebukes and all!
If the total is less than 8 for all your ‘friends’ then there is a different issue. Maybe you need to BE that kind of friend. Apply the same questions to yourself with regard to your friends and check your score.
The good news is that you can increase your friendship factor. You can become the kind of friend that “loves at all times“. (Pr 17:17)
Lord please help me to be a true friend and help me to value the real friends I have and recognize their impact on my life even when I don’t like it.
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