Themes in Proverbs: A true friend is reliable and honest

Proverbs 27:5–6

Better is open rebuke

Than love that is concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,

But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.


Honesty is a rare attribute. It is something we seek, yet often come up wanting. Sadly, those that call themselves our friend fall into the untrustworthy, the dishonest category.

No one likes pain. We are squeamish at the prick of a needle or the removal of a band-aid, but Solomon spoke wisely of a true friend. True friends are brutally honest, even honest to the point that it hurts. Honesty should not always be pleasant because the truth is not always pleasant.

If we cannot handle the truth; if not honesty, then what? The alternative is dishonesty, deceit. It is hearing what you want rather than what you need. Deceit, comes not from friends but from enemies.

Two final thoughts:

  • First, are you a friend? If you are, you are speaking truthful, honest words even if those words cause pain.
  • Second, Are you surrounding yourself with friends? Remember, deceit is sweet like a kiss. Think about the last time you have been rebuked for doing wrong?

Must we speak honestly. Absolutely! Must we speak that truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)? Absolutely! We can and must do both. Let us seek honesty in ourselves to our friends and from our friends.