“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” ~ Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV)

Let’s be honest for a moment. Have you ever found yourself going one direction in life only to have someone tell you you’re headed the wrong way? I’m not talking about those people who seek out reasons to knock you down for their own sadistic pleasure or to make themselves appear better. I’m thinking of true friends who are brave enough to speak the truth … even when it hurts. Even if it causes a break in the relationship for a season while you wrestle with what to do with what they said.

True friends speak the truth because they love you. They point you in the right direction because they care about your destination in life. They bring sin to light and offer accountability when you stumble. They don’t whisper platitudes or flattery, but simply hold up a mirror so you can see reality … and make the necessary adjustments.

As many of you know, I’ve been writing for seven years now. In that time, I’ve accumulated enough words to fill two non-fiction books, two devotional ebooks, three novel manuscripts, and 300-plus blog posts. Last fall, I went to lunch with a new friend and was telling her about what I’ve written. She asked, “Why are you writing fiction?” I mumbled something about always wanting to write the stories that fill my imagination. She repeated her question … and like a coward, I shifted the conversation elsewhere.

But her words lingered like a broken record and forced me to take a closer look at why I write what I do. Her words also brought to my remembrance other comments about my writing. Like being at the opening dinner at a fiction-writing conference (where I was clearly labeled as a finalist in the ACFW Genesis novel contest, duh!) and hearing how much someone enjoyed the devotions on my blog. Like attendees at a writer’s group meeting complementing my leading our discussion and suggesting I should teach a workshop. Like having a former critique partner seek me out to critique her latest contracted novel because my past comments were extremely helpful.

So, as much as I’d hoped to someday be a published novelist, I’m willing to focus on my blog and devotional formats and see them as a legitimate form of writing. And I’m beginning to seriously consider editing and critiquing for pay as a way to encourage others and still dabble in my love of stories.

The truth sometimes hurts, but I’d rather have wounds from friends than kisses from enemies.

What about you? Have the wounds of a friend ever changed the direction of your life? Have you ever had to wound a friend? How did they respond?

Faithful Wounds
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