“The Wounds of a Friend”
THE apostle Paul saw the need to administer some correction to first-century Christians in Galatia. Likely to forestall any resentment, he asked: “Well, then, have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”—Galatians 4:16.
In ‘telling the truth,’ Paul had not become their enemy. He was, in fact, acting in harmony with the Bible principle: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6, King James Version) He knew that the pride of erring ones could be wounded. Yet, he was aware that to stand between a sinner and the discipline he needs could have the effect of denying that one an expression of Jehovah God’s love. (Hebrews 12:5-7) Therefore, as a faithful friend with the long-term interests of the congregation at heart, Paul did not shrink back from offering corrective counsel.
Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses are fulfilling their commission “to make disciples of people of all the nations, . . . teaching them to observe all the things [Jesus Christ has] commanded.” In doing so, these sincere Christians do not compromise Bible truths that expose and condemn doctrinal error and unchristian behavior. (Matthew 15:9; 23:9; 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Rather than becoming enemies to be rejected, they are manifesting the interest of genuine friends.
With divinely inspired insight, the psalmist wrote: “Should the righteous one strike me, it would be a loving-kindness; and should he reprove me, it would be oil upon the head, which my head would not want to refuse.”—Psalm 141:5.