The kiss of friendship can often feel like a slap in the face. Most of us do not like to hear things about ourselves that are not flattering. The truth is that no one is perfect. At times, even our best friends need to tell us things we do not want to hear. An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.
There are plenty of yes-people to be found. Many a leader, even Christian leader, have encountered their downfall in surrounding themselves with people who only tell them what they want to hear. It is a much rarer occurrence to find a subordinate who will tell you the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Flattery, though seemingly positive, is not given to build-up the person on which bestowed. Its purpose is to win favor for the flatterer. Sweet talk is quite a self-centered activity.
There is an interesting contradiction: One who is fawning over you to your face, who feels slighted, will be the first to reveal secrets about you to your back. These people always show their true colors. If their support for you doesn’t bring the self-promotion or recognition that they seek, their advocacy will turn to detraction in the blink of an eye.
Who are your friends? They may be people that make us feel uncomfortable or even irritate us at times. Messages that we do not want to hear are not from people trying to win a popularity contest. The Bible says, “Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverb 27:6 NLT). Discern who your friends are and accept their kiss of friendship.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing