“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6 NIV
Once there was a woman who planned to leave her husband and kids to pursue her dreams. On Facebook she veiled her true intentions with posts about being afraid of trying new things and hoping to have the courage to chase her dreams. Many comments were left on her status update saying, “Go for it!” and “You can do it!”
They were like kisses from the enemy being multiplied. Even though these unsuspecting commentators were not her enemy, the enemy was using their innocent advice. Her friends who knew her true intentions tried to reason with the woman, but she received their words as wounds because they disagreed with her plans.
This fictitious example reminds us of two things: 1) Be careful of giving general advice on matters we are not intimately familiar with, and 2) When receiving advice from others, wisely consider the rebuke of friends over the cheers of acquaintances.
“For the commandments are like a lamp, instruction is like a light, and rebukes of discipline are like the road leading to life,” Proverbs 6:23 NET BIBLE
During our prayer time, it is important to ask God to reveal areas where our disciplines or habits need correcting. Neglecting sin in our life threatens our judgment and poisons our motives, which may take us down a road of sin – destroying our families, churches and ourselves.
God uses His Word to convict us of sin, sermons to bring attention to sins, and our friends to rebuke our sinful behavior. However the Lord deals with us, it is important to pay attention.
As you reflect in prayer, ask yourself these questions:
• Did I engage in sinful behavior today?
• Did I feel the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin today?
• Do I have any impure motives?
• Are there habits in my life that are displeasing to God?
• Am I participating in activities that are in contradiction to God’s Word?
• Are my friends or family in disagreement with the direction I am taking? If so, are they biblically justified?
Whenever you answer Yes to any of these questions, immediately ask God to help you change your behavior in order to resolve the sin. His Spirit that indwells you WILL help you.
Sin limits our life in so many ways. It not only diminishes our witness to others, it also renders us unusable by God. Addressing our sin is the way to a happy and spiritually healthy life!