Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
When I'm wrong I need to be told, and real friends will always do so. I have been blessed throughout my life to have access to those kind of close friendships, and they bless me. They aren't always easy conversations to have, but friends who love me AND love God will talk to me about the problems they see in me. And I can do so with them.
The older that I get the deeper I value those kinds of friendships. And I also find in life transitions that sometimes access to those friendships can get limited and makes them even more precious. Over the last two years I have begun to see a couple of my most intimate friends transition to more "limited access" relationships. What that means is that there is a heck of a lot less small talk with them. We get right to the faithful, loving, sometimes careful admonition in our times together.
I also value the development of new friendships in this vein. And God continues to bless me at the same time of "diminishing" old relationships with the chance to add new faithful friends whom God will use to correct my path. I love that God, through His will and in His church, does this. I need faithful friends whose love will wound my pride, hate my sin with me, build my soul, and rebuke my wrongs for the glory of my Savior!