Proverbs 27:6

ESV Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
NIV Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
NASB Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
CSB The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.
NLT Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
KJV Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

What does Proverbs 27:6 mean?

The prior lesson (Proverbs 27:5) noted that "love" which refuses to correct a friend is of no value. It's important to be tactful (Proverbs 15:1, 4, 28) and genuinely loving (Ephesians 4:15), not merely critical. Yet true friendship sometimes means telling others hard truths they aren't eager to hear (Proverbs 27:17). When correction—even in the blunt form of a "rebuke"—is motivated by sincere love, it's a mark of friendship. What the other person says may sting, but they take that risk out of genuine care for a friend.

An enemy, on the other hand, may feign love. Anyone can be insincere and offer affirmation regardless of the situation. This is often a tactic used to disguise ill intent. Judas feigned love for Jesus by kissing Him, but his kiss was deceptive. It was not a sign of love but a signal to soldiers that Jesus was the one they wanted to arrest. Paul warned the Galatian churches about false teachers who used flattery to gain the believers' trust and devotion. At one time the Galatian believers loved Paul. But they turned against him because he corrected them. He writes: "Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16). The "wounds" Paul inflicted on the Galatians were painful, but faithful, motivated by truthful love, and for their good.
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