“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
~ Proverbs 27:6 NIV
There are certain personality types who have no problem confronting someone and telling them like it is. Not me. It is never easy for me to tell someone something they do not want to hear.
Still, if I am a friend—someone who honestly loves or cares for a person—I must tell the truth even at the risk of losing the relationship.
Remember the story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Anderson? The Emperor hires two tailors who promise to make him a suit of clothes from a fine, magical fabric, that is invisible to those who are unworthy of his position or just hopelessly stupid. When they bring him the clothes he realizes he cannot see them, but doesn’t admit it for fear of exposing his unworthiness and stupidity. He puts on the “clothes” and parades up and down the street completely naked. Because everyone wanted to please him, they praised his fine new clothes. It took a child to point out to him that he was naked. This gives others in the crowd courage to speak up. But even though the Emperor knows it is true, he continues walking in deception.
Some of us have people we love parading up and down life completely naked thinking they are wearing the finest of fabrics. The “kissers” around them would rather praise them than speak the truth, because frankly, they don’t really care about them enough. But a true friend will—with gentleness, kindness, and humility—speak the truth even though it might wound. To the kissers, it doesn’t matter. A naked Emperor isn’t their problem.
However, if we are the friends we should be, it does matter.