Living in France all these years has given me a new appreciation for perfume. We have had friends in the business and we have visited factories. When my Bible study ladies got together, the subject would sometimes turn to their favorite scents. They gave me a classic perfume as a parting gift. Its fragrance reminds me of those ladies and their sweet friendship. But even with all this exposure, I am not as knowledgeable as some people are who make perfume their hobby. At least I know what I like even if I cannot say it gives me an “emotional rush” or “butterflies in my stomach!”
Our verse for today acknowledges the morale booster a nice scent can be. And just as perfume and incense can bring joy to a heart, so also does the involved friend who gives sincere and heartfelt advice. I do not always think of advice from others as being pleasant. Perhaps I have been too often the recipient of advice that was not given by a true friend or was not heartfelt.
Heartfelt advice is recognizable. When advice is given in a spirit of love one does not so easily take offense. Even if the advice is off the mark, when it comes from the well-intentioned friend, it can be pleasant. It means the person cares. It means the person wants to see you succeed. Advice, asked for or not, means that person is willing to get involved in problem solving and helping. The wise person listens to advice (Prov. 12:15).
Thank you Lord, for friends that care enough to advise. Help me be wise enough to listen!