8/26 Proverbs 27:6

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Man is born selfish. As he matures he learns to disguise that selfishness to get what he desires from others. The more worldly people become, the better they are at manipulating others. The reason we fall for their flattery is based on our own selfish nature. Finance frauds lure people in with the promise of big returns. The philanderer lures women by telling them what their hearts have longed to hear about themselves. That is the sin nature we all inherited from Adam.

The only way to be freed from this disgusting bondage, whether abuser or victim, is to know Jesus as Savior. He sets us free from the bondage of sin. He transforms our hearts to be enabled to give rather than receive. It is the love of the Father that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Life becomes about God and His glory and loving those made in His image.

This love will speak the truth in love to those who need correction. The person who is in Christ will care more about a friend's soul than they do about the friendship. They will be willing to risk the friendship to keep the friend from destruction. Of course it is expressed with wisdom and gentleness. The heart after God will want all praise to go to God. They will be willing to lovingly tell a sinner the destructiveness of the path that person is taking.

Prayer: LORD, help me to know and experience the freedom from selfishness I have when I live each day in You. Help me to recognize it in my own heart so that I may be neither a manipulator nor a victim. Fill my heart with Your love.