“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:5-6
Anger, dislike, prideful, hurt, uncomfortable, not going to listen. Those are just some of the reactions I think about when I think of an open rebuke from a friend. How many of us have had a brother or sister in Christ that has confronted us with an issue or sin that we have been dealing with? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess all of us.
Here, in the book of Proverbs, we see that an ‘open rebuke’ is a good thing! Praise God! Culturally, we are under attack and unfortunately it has made its way into the church. In today’s time, we are taught to not call out a brother or sister in Christ. We are told to just love them for who they are and how they live. I find this teaching contradictory to the way the Bible explains brother/sisterhood in Christ.
In Matthew 7:1-6 we see a greater understanding on how to rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ. It all starts with…ourselves. For us to rebuke or confront someone, we are to take the speck out of our own eye. Meaning, if you’re living in sin and haven’t set your life straight, you have no grounds to acknowledge your falling brother/sister. However, if you’re at the altar laying down your sin, repenting and asking for new life…you have grounds to confront your brother or sister in Christ. We must see that sin is like cancer, and if our brothers or sisters are living in sin – it will spread.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy. When you’re struggling, and aren’t living the correct lifestyle, do you choose to go see a brother in Christ or call up a friend who lives with worldly thoughts? It’s so easy for us to go to the latter because we know they will leave us with a ‘profuse kiss’ or a plentiful answer. We know, when speaking with a brother or sister in Christ, that some conversations will be hard; especially when dealt with our rebellion.
May we seek out the truth from our brothers and sisters. May we take joy in the fact that we will be openly rebuked for it is better than hidden
love. May we see that the wounds our friends make (when it comes to open rebukes) is for the better and not worse.