Proverbs 27:6–Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Who do you respect the most in your circle of friends or family? Do you have someone you call when you find yourself in a desperate situation or a time of struggle in decision making? Have you empowered someone to speak truth to you, even if it hurts a little?

Solomon wrote often throughout the book of Proverbs about the value of a trusted friend. It is wise to receive counsel when making big decisions or choosing a new path for life. I don’t know about you but I have had a tendency on occasion, however, to be wounded or puffed up by those whom I do not respect. And on a few accounts have allowed those voices to trump the once valued advice or accolade of a trusted, respected friend or confidant.

Take some time this week to survey your most trusted and respected circle of friends, peers, and/or mentors. Determine the level of input they will have in your life based on what areas you respect them in the most. And then further determine to silence the voices of those you do not respect. Those voices will only detour you from God’s best in your life. And they may keep you from hearing the most important counsel: that of the Holy Spirit!

King David said to God  in Psalm 141, verses 4-5, “Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” In other words, “Lord, my heart is to do right and to avoid evil.  I want to please you. So help me receive both praise and criticism from those I trust and respect the most–those who also desire to please you–that I may always steer clear of the devil’s plan for my life.”

Faithful are the wounds of a respected friend. They will always result in a greater you.

Your friend,

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