Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27:6 KJV
We all need people in our lives who will tell us the truth about ourselves. We need honest folks, who will come along side us when we have food in our teeth, and hand us a mirror. We need friends who will point us in the right direction when we have lost our way. People who care enough to confront us, no matter our response. We all have blind spots. If you have those kinds of folks in your life, thank God for them.
I was recently shopping for a publisher for my next book, The Seventh Trail, (notice the subliminal message that I would like you to purchase it when it comes out), and I greatly benefited from my mother’s advice. She always told me to do my homework. In the research of any company, the one vital tool that must not be overlooked, are the reviews. Now this is what I have learned about reviews. There are three types of reviewers. First, there is the axe-grinder. The disgruntled customer who just wants to hurt the company, in my case, the publishing company. Secondly, there is the cousin review. You might be able to figure that one out by its title. All favorable marks by someone near and dear to the company, owned by cousin Vinnie. And then there is the one you are looking for; the honest review. This one is given by someone who is fair and objective. Pros and cons are delivered in an unbiased manner and then, and only then, can the true light of a company be seen. From this individual, the truth will shine, and a decision can be made. A wise person will listen to such a reviewer.
Proverbs tells us that, ‘faithful are the wounds of a friend.’ Faithful and friend are warm and fuzzy words; wound is not. There’s nothing pleasant about a wound. I recently spoke some hard words to a friend who is in a dark place. He recoiled when the blade entered, as I expected him to. Defending himself at every turn, he fought back. He commented that these sound like the words of someone who wants to hurt me, not help me. I didn’t want to hurt him, but wounds do hurt. A doctor takes no pleasure in cutting flesh, but if he doesn’t, the infection remains. My words to my friend may have sounded like those of his enemies but the difference is, I still stand by him, I still pray for him, I still love him, and at the drop of a hat I would race to his side. Wounds hurt, but the greater hurt is to say nothing; to do nothing.
When I need the truth told to me, I don’t need an axe-grinder or a cousin review. I need a friend who will wound me with truth and then stay by my side, ready to bind up my wound. This is homework for the stout-hearted.