Proverbs 25,26,27; Romans 15
“Better is an open rebuke than hidden love” (Proverbs 27:5)
This proverb is not about comparing the vast difference between rebukes and affection. It’s actually about the need for expressing love and the unseen negative effects of hidden love. How easy it is to have love but not express it. Love is not love if it is hidden. I’m not talking about romance. I’m talking about those who are close to you but you haven’t expressed appreciation of love for them in words or actions in a long time!
Proverbs tells us that if you think an open rebuke is bad, hidden love is worse! I don't know if you have ever been rebuked in front of your peers. I have. I was in a pastor’s conference and one of the leaders rebuked me in front of everyone that I was “stealing his sheep” because several had left his church and came to ours. Even though I had nothing to do with coercing their decisions, I was made to look like a spiritual criminal. That took me a week or more to get over the pain of it. That was bad. However, what is worse is hiding my love from those who I should be expressing it to.
So, what is the lesson? Proverbs 23:12 tells us: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge” So … find those who live close to you, starting with your family, your marriage, parents, children, siblings, your inner circle of friends and … no longer … hide your love, appreciation, and gratitude. Take time to tell at least two of them. It will bring huge dividends.
Father, I pray that You would help me to be gracious in speech and generous in my expressions of love.