The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.
It hurts to be corrected. Who likes it? If we see a friend doing something that’s harmful or going somewhere that’s dangerous, only a friend will warn him. When I’m driving with my family and my wife tells me that it’s better if you go this way, even though I know in my heart that she has a point but I don’t like the fact that she corrected me even though I’m the driver in the family and think that I know more than her. I lose sight of her intent to help me.
Who does the correcting? Those who care and love you. The enemy, knowing full well of your error is happy to cheer you on that you may continue to your own detriment. I am thankful to all of my brothers in Christ whom I know personally who instructed me that I was headed the wrong way. It takes maturity to humble oneself and take it.
I remember one day a Christian friend of mine named Julio called me up and told me that while being in church the pastor preached that if you have a friend who is Christian and is doing something contrary to the word, boldly tell and confront them. I can’t disclose the details here, it is personal in nature but I dwelt on what he said and I took it that it was a conviction from the Lord and I ended up fixing it.
My friend chose to call me up to warn me because he loves me as a brother but imagine a friend who is devoid of the Holy Spirit. He would actually cheer you on to continue. The enemy will NEVER correct you but will be happy to see you go in the wrong direction hence plenty of kisses and telling you what you want to hear, fattening you up for the slaughter.
Beware my brothers and sisters of the enemy’s kisses because in his eyes you’re never wrong as long as you’re doing his bidding.
One who rebukes a person will later find more favor than one who flatters with his tongue.
Better an open reprimand than concealed love.
A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
When one is in the wrong but all his friends tells him how right he is, they are digging a pit for his down fall.