Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rebuked by Proverbs 27:5

I was rebuked this morning by Proverbs 27:5: "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."

A simple yet profound proverb. I am 99.9% on the hidden love side (that is probably a generous percentage; it should be closer to 100%). I hardly ever rebuke anyone (and I haven't been rebuked very much). My love for people around me is hidden when it comes to confronting.

Why is an open rebuke better than hidden love?

1. Hidden love is motivated by selfishness (an unwillingness to take a risk for the sake of a fellow Christian).

2. Hidden love disregards the gospel and Christ's sacrifice for sins.

3. Hidden love does not take sin seriously.

4. An open rebuke at least opens the door to repentance.

5. Hidden love creates shallow relationships and does not build the community of faith.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

I think verse 6 kinda flows with that too~

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are decietful."

I always think of these verses in light of discipleship! I am soooo thankful for the wounds of my friends who love me enough to rebuke me!

But I have a hard time rebuking others- encouraging is the easy part, I hate confrontation, at least when I am the one doing the confronting!!!!! But I like what you said about these verses! It really hits me where I am right now a relationship...I am reminded that I am not loving this person by saying nothing- thanks Justin!

Stephanie Cherry said...

I have a problem not rebuking. People get angry with me. Then I have to cry and release them to God. It's a difficult thing to truly love people.

I got extremely convicted reading the book of Ezekiel. "Prophet, you lie and declare peace when there is no peace. You leave the people a white washed wall with breaks in it unable to defend themselves at the day of the Lord. You do not shepherd the people. You only feed yourself. If you see sin crouching at your brother's door and do not sound a warning then you will have his bloodguilt on your hands."

Once I got a note from a friend that changed my entire prospective. It said simply, "Humble Yourself." If I am not reacting to my need for approval from people, I am free to be effective. As Tozer says, we live a life of worship when we "stop thinking about who we are and respond to who God is."

* Side note - We loved the 10 New Years thing and sent it out to our church. I really like your weekly adaptation. I have printed it and plan to use it to allow the Holy Spirit to "master my week" ahead.

Thanks.

Sarah said...

It is easier to rebuke a sister in Christ- one who loves God's word and who longs to obey it and please God above all else. It is another matter to rebuke one who is living a life contrary to scripture, claims Christ, and is offended by the bible....

It is hard to love people. It is even harder to love family! To put myself aside and say that ones salvation is more important that our friendship or that person's view of me......that is hard and on top of that, my heart is broken and hurt over not knowing what to do or say.

Thank you Stephanie! That was awesome.....very convicting and encouraging!

Please pray for me that God will show me what to do and how....and that I will obey, no matter the cost!
I am thankful to the Lord for this blog! Hearing other perspectives has really been awesome~

ed said...

I tried to first rebuke my friend in Love, but got nothing but hostility, "you judgemental so & so, mind your own business". As their life literally crumbles around them. And they want to white-wash the issues at our church, and just put on a good face, with nothing changed. I fear the LORD's judgement on that. Like Stephanie(below), I'm thinking along the lines of Ezekiel, "Prophet, you lie and declare peace when there is no peace. You leave the people a white washed wall with breaks in it unable to defend themselves at the day of the Lord. You do not shepherd the people. You only feed yourself. If you see sin crouching at your brother's door and do not sound a warning then you will have his bloodguilt on your hands." Oh Snap!

And so the battle goes...Thanks for helping me gird my loins with the words here. Bless you all.