The Most Faithful Kind of Wounding
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6
Though my daughter said the words in the heat of an argument, I couldn’t deny their accuracy. In one statement, she not only sliced straight to my heart, she also unveiled it, revealing a festering wound I’d carried for years. One that was drastically hindering my relationships and my ministry.
In that moment, feeling exposed and attacked, I had a choice. I could prayerfully acknowledge the truth in her statement or grow defensive, make excuses, or deny her claims outright.
Initially, I rebuffed her allegations and went into hiding, as was often my first response to pain. But after some prayer, and a heavy dose of tears, God moved me from self-deception to honest evaluation.
Had I remained in denial, not only would I have stunted my growth, I likely would’ve begun to slip in the other direction. But, relying heavily on grace, I offered my heart, hurts, and weaknesses to God and allowed Him to walk me through them. As a result, He brought me to a greater level of healing and freedom.
I’ve been on both sides of the “faithful wounding” equation numerous times, and these types of conversations are never pleasant, but they’re often necessary. I’ve found the greater my love for the person, the more apt I am to discuss difficult issues. I try to remember this when I find myself on the receiving end.
Like Proverbs 27:6 implies, it’s easy to flatter and provide surface-level tokens of affection. It takes a great deal more courage, and therefore love, to inflict the wounds of a friend—those that, though painful in the moment, have the capacity to lead to health and growth.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She hosts the Faith Over Fear and Thriving With Chronic Illness podcasts, writes for iBelieve, and is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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