Everyone is wrong sometime.
But who likes being reminded of it?
David asked for such reminders. In a time when his enemies were trying to trap him into wrongdoing, David prayed that a righteous one would rebuke him if his heart turned toward a sinful path. He viewed such a reprimand as a blessing, an act of faithful love.
LORD, set up a guard for my mouth;
keep watch at the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart turn to any evil thing
or perform wicked acts
with men who commit sin.
Do not let me feast on their delicacies.
Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked. (v. 3-5 CSB)
Proverbs says it like this:
Better an open reprimand
than concealed love.
The wounds of a friend are trustworthy,
but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.
Proverbs 27:5-6 CSB
Who is a better friend? The one who lovingly confronts us with our wrongdoing, or the one who loves us but stays quiet?
Which wounds are better? The ones we inflict on ourselves by sinful choices or the ones from a friend who lovingly tells us the truth about our actions?
We can trust the wounds of a true friend.
David prayed for friends who would confront him in love if his heart turned toward sin, even if it hurt to hear their words.
Do we pray for friends like that?
I am grateful for a handful of friends who love me enough to tell me the truth, who warn me when my heart turns toward sin. When I’ve been wronged, I am grateful for friends who call me on my sinful responses and refuse to let me blame my choices on others. I am grateful for friends who “play the movie” to show me where my sinful attitude will take me and those who love me. I am grateful for the faithful love of these friends, friends who are willing to cause pain for a moment rather than see me suffer pain for a lifetime.
Am I willing to be that kind of friend? I want to be. I try to be.
I admit, it’s easier to stay quiet.
So I’m thankful for this reminder from the psalms today:
Faithful love sounds the alarm.
Father, set a guard over my lips today. Help me speak the truth in love. Keep my heart from turning to sin. Open the mouths of my friends to be free to warn me when I am on or considering a sinful path. Thank you for my friends who demonstrate Your faithful love by sounding the alarm when I need it. Protect us from the traps of the enemy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.