A friend stabbed me yesterday. Pierced my heart...with the hard truth. The brutal truth. In loving strength he laid me bare. I love him for it. It is no kindness to hide the cold reality of sin within a brother's heart. Evidence of self-centeredness and the heart that stacks the stones of "me" upon the stones of "right" built up into a castle of self-righteous anger needs to be revealed for what it is. It is that which separates me from the peace of God and places me under the discipline of self-kindled complacency and joyless tossing of vanity. It is horrible for me when I sin for I am disglorifying God and work and wail outside of the purpose for which I was made. A friend will move me away from the edge of insane idolatry and push me back toward the joy of Jesus...the Savior of sinners.
The Proverb says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy." (27:6)
It is the act of an enemy NOT to call to account the sin which is seen in my life. It is the act of a true friend that reveals my sin as sin, not merely a psychologized response to some wound or victimization in my mottled past, but as SIN. I do not fear my sin's revealing, for in repentance and trust in Jesus I find my freedom and my hope. In repentance I find the ability and the strength to love others, to forget myself and reach out for the good of my enemy. It takes a real friend to stab me in the heart with the double-edged sword of God's Word and reveal, in biblical words, that I have sinned. Not merely that I have sinned, but that there is hope for transformation through the Holy Spirit of God applying the blood of Jesus Christ on my behalf. So, I do not fear the blade of truth, nor do I distrust my friend. He is a true friend, a righteous friend who can wound me when I have built my own kingdom and have become so self-myopic that I do not love.
So, keep crying aloud, Isaiah! Do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet, declaring to my people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins. May the clear tone of truth penetrate our hardened hearts and self-deceived minds until all that remains is the glory and praise of the One Righteous. Jesus alone is the righteous man, who did not seize the right of equality that He had with God, but took the form of a servant for me and for you. That is self-forgetfulness. That is love. That is humility, always speaking the truth, but always seeking the good of those around Him, even when it means aiming the blade for the heart.
Soli Dei Gloria