These also are sayings of the wise.
Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
If you have ever been in a courtroom with a wise judge, you will have seen the wisdom of these verses lived out. When justice is meted out (or even common sense is spoken into a difficult situation) those upon whom wrong has been clinging, it is a delight. It brings to mind some other verses:
A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:11-12
Verse 26 takes this a step further as a mark of close friendship. The symbol of specifically kissing on the lips is not mentioned only here in the Bible. Herodotus (History 1.134) shows that among the Persians this was a sign of true friendship. The metaphor signifies that friendship is characterized by truth (cf. the NT practice of greeting; Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; et al.).
The Apostle Paul encourages us not just to speak honesty but to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). If done properly, our sharing may not only be encouraging, but helpful in the lives of others (Proverbs 27:6).
How will you be a true friend today?