Wounds Of A Friend

Faithful are the wounds of a friend

Proverbs 27:6

Not many people love to go to the dentist. The idea of someone scraping your teeth with a metal hook, drilling into a tooth, our giving you a shot in your gums, is less than appealing. In fact, I’m sure most reading that last sentence felt their toes start to curl a little.

Most people cringe a little at the thought of having their teeth worked on. I know I did. For years I avoided the dentist and it landed me in one’s chair having them extract a tooth, drill into my jaw, screw in a metal rod with a torque wrench, and then later glue a crown to the metal implant. The procedure went incredibly well, and at about a year later, my implant and I are doing rather swell.

I say all that, to say that I was recently once again at my dentist, but this time for my routine cleaning. When looking at my x-ray they saw something that had worked its way down under the crown of my implant. The hygienist worked hard to try and get it out, and let’s just say that my toes curled so hard they were touching my heels. But during the cleaning, as she worked under that crown, she said something that was too good not to share.

I know it may hurt, and it’s not my goal to hurt you… but if we don’t get that out, it will rot the bone next to the implant.

That is a friend. She could have said that I’m fine and had nothing to worry about. She could have been afraid of causing some pain and let me go on unaware of my condition. But she didn’t. She wounded me because she cared about my health. In a bigger and more vital context, we need friends in our lives who are willing to do this spiritually. Those that will step up and in love speak the truth that will wound us.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:11–12

We need people to speak into our lives to say, “we need to get that out of there before it rots your soul…” But here is the catch. That dentist office would have never known there was a problem to address if I hadn’t gone in. If I hadn’t let them x-ray my teeth. I had to go in and sit in that chair.

If we spend our lives in spiritual isolation, never opening our lives to anyone, we will never be in a place to be wounded. If we live our lives trying to keep our masks on, play the part of a perfect person, we’ll spend our lives rotting under that mask. We will build up friendships on trivial matters of sports and favorite foods and never move beyond that to find a family that is founded on the things that will last forever!

We were not called to solo Christianity, but to a family. We need a place to be real and feel safe enough to let our guard down. If you don’t have someone close enough in your life that you are willing to open up and let them wound you, then prayerfully seek someone out. There is a reason the scripture puts such an emphasis on living life in community. It is what we were made for!

Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. Find more of them here.