Listen to this devotional:
Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (NASB)
John 8:32 – Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you. (MSG)
I love playing the piano. I love finding hard pieces of music to practice. I love adding frills and floaties to music in order to make the music sound like I want it to. I love slowing down, and speeding up, and playing louder, and playing softer, to give the song expression.
That isn't the way I used to play the piano, though. I used to just pound the piano. Whatever song I chose to play, it had to be played hard and loud and fast! Often, I took my frustration or my hurt or my pain out on the piano. Those listening could tell that.
One day, Mom (bless her heart) told me that I just pounded the piano: I didn't use any expression; I just pounded. That was during a time I was practicing a hard arrangement of "In The Sweet By And By". It was difficult. I spent hours practicing. But like Mom said, there was no expression; it all sounded loud and fast. Anyone listening couldn't tell there was a "Sweet By And By". It just didn't sound very sweet!
I remember those words of Mom's as if she had said them yesterday. I am so glad that she had the courage to tell me the truth. Like the Scripture verse for today: faithful are the wounds of a friend. Yes, it hurt when she told me. But I took it to heart. Over the years, I have learned to play with expression. I believe it began when Mom planted that seed thought in my mind. The truth does set us free.
Our good friends speak truth into our lives. They don't do it to hurt us, although it may hurt. They do it to encourage us, to help us see an area in our lives that needs changing, to set us free in the long run. Oh, may we listen and let the truths sink deep into our souls.
Prayer: Father, we have all been hurt at times by what others say to us. Sometimes, people do say things intentionally to hurt us. Other times, our closest family and friends, who love us so much, speak truth to us. Often, we don't want to hear it. Lord, we pray that You will help us to sift the intentional hurts, and understand the hurts done in love. Help us to forgive those who hurt us intentionally, and help us to learn from the loving hurts sent our way. We do want to grow and change. This is one way we can do that, if we are willing to look at truth when it comes our way. Oh, how we need You today! Amen.