The rebuke of a friend is sweet

Yesterday, a friend of mine took me to task for something, and while it wasn’t pleasant, it was comforting to know that he cares about me. He wasn’t mean or rude or unfair to me in any way, he was honest, he was direct, he was gracious. It was quite humbling.

We all need a friend or two like that. The sort of person who will look at us and say the thing that needs to be said and not necessarily the thing that would be most pleasant. The sort of person who knows how to cut you, but kindly, the sort that Proverbs 27:6 speaks of when it says, “faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful”.

I think there’s a great deal more to be said about friendship, but I wanted to get this down while it was fresh in my mind. And to Bruce, who I’m not entirely sure will read this, I wanted to say thank you. You are and have always been a friend, and I appreciate that, more than you may know.

2 thoughts on “The rebuke of a friend is sweet”

  1. Correction from a friend is very humbling 😀

    I’m reminded of this puritan prayer:

    Reproofs

    O MERCIFUL GOD,
    When I hear of disagreeable things amongst Christians,
    it brings an additional weight and burden on my spirit;
    I come to thee in my distress and make lamentable complaint;
    Teach me how to take reproofs from friends,
    even though I think I do not deserve them;
    Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin,
    more jealous over myself,
    more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable;
    Cause them to help me reflect on my want of spirituality,
    to abhor myself,
    to look upon myself as unworthy,
    and make beneficial to my soul.
    May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am,
    that they may see I am nothing,
    less than nothing,
    to be accounted nothing,
    that so they may pray for me aright,
    and have not the least dependence on me.
    It is sweet to be nothing and have nothing,
    and to be fed with crumbs from thy hands.
    Blessed be the name for anything that life brings.
    How do poor souls live who have not thee,
    or when helpless have no God to go to,
    who feel not the constraining force of thy love,
    and the sweetness of communion?
    O how admirably dost thou captivate the soul,
    making all desires and affections centre on thee!
    Give me such vivacity in religion,
    that I may be able to take all reproofs from other men
    as from thy hands,
    and glorify thee for them
    from a sense of thy beneficient love
    and of my need to have my pride destroyed.
    -Valley of Vision

  2. Correction from a friend is very humbling 😀

    I’m reminded of this puritan prayer:

    Reproofs

    O MERCIFUL GOD,
    When I hear of disagreeable things amongst Christians,
    it brings an additional weight and burden on my spirit;
    I come to thee in my distress and make lamentable complaint;
    Teach me how to take reproofs from friends,
    even though I think I do not deserve them;
    Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin,
    more jealous over myself,
    more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable;
    Cause them to help me reflect on my want of spirituality,
    to abhor myself,
    to look upon myself as unworthy,
    and make beneficial to my soul.
    May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am,
    that they may see I am nothing,
    less than nothing,
    to be accounted nothing,
    that so they may pray for me aright,
    and have not the least dependence on me.
    It is sweet to be nothing and have nothing,
    and to be fed with crumbs from thy hands.
    Blessed be the name for anything that life brings.
    How do poor souls live who have not thee,
    or when helpless have no God to go to,
    who feel not the constraining force of thy love,
    and the sweetness of communion?
    O how admirably dost thou captivate the soul,
    making all desires and affections centre on thee!
    Give me such vivacity in religion,
    that I may be able to take all reproofs from other men
    as from thy hands,
    and glorify thee for them
    from a sense of thy beneficient love
    and of my need to have my pride destroyed.
    -Valley of Vision

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