Proverbs 27: King James Bible
Open Rebuke – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty seven, Verse 5
5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse
Above, this short little verse might tend to cause us to think of a love story tragedy. Where one person secretly loves someone else, says nothing, and suffers the pain of watching the person he or she loves falling for others, getting married, having a life and kids, etc.. All while the person secretly in love, watches from a distance, heartbroken. The end.
Well, that is a surface rendering of the scripture above, but here, we’re going to focus on why it is better to receive an open rebuke, than to not have been rebuked at all. If the person above was openly rebuked early on, perhaps he or she would have set sails and found someone else; moved on in their lives?
Anytime we come across the word rebuke, we (Christians) tend to think of rebuking a demonic entity in the act of spiritual warfare. Or begin to recall what scriptures say about Michael the Archangel telling Satan “The Lord rebuke thee” while contending over the body of Moses.
And we should. Rebuking first and asking questions later is a great practice in the arena of spiritual warfare, but that isn’t the end all to how we should think of rebuking. What does it mean to rebuke someone?
The Lord rebukes people all the time. I get rebuked all the time, I’d bet many of us are often openly rebuked. I don’t know about you, but I believe that it is a blessing to be rebuked.
If I’m in the car with my wife wanting to go find a Walmart, and I decide to go in the wrong direction, it would only be seconds before I wind up being sharply and openly rebuked. She would begin asking what I’m doing, then telling me how I’m wrong, and how to correct the course.
What would happen if she decided to keep her mouth shut after realizing that we’re going the wrong way? Maybe she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, or impede on my driving and directional skills; or just didn’t want to stir the waters.
Either way, it would be a long trip, a waste of time, a waste of gas… I’d be more irritated at the fact that I was wrong at the end of the trip, then to have found out closer to the beginning of a trip. Sometimes we go through life not getting half of the open rebukes we should have.
I said all of that to express that an open rebuke isn’t always a bad thing. Above, it’s shown as better than hidden love. Now why would that be?
If the love is hidden, then what good is it doing for anyone? Nothing really, aside from becoming a heavy weight on the heart of the one who harbors it. Aside from that, if it is as hidden as I think the scriptures mean, then there’s no evidence of it existing, and doing no good for anybody.
At least with an open rebuke, we get food for thought, correction, it makes us sharper so that we avoid another rebuke over the same matter, etc.. We may not like it, and it may ruffle our feathers, but an open rebuke should cause for us to do a couple of things.
It should cause for us to stop whatever we’re doing, and assess the situation we’re being rebuked over. Then we have to make sure that we’re not being falsely rebuked. Make sure you’re right if you still think you’re right. Figure out why you’re right, and why the rebuking party is wrong.
You may find that those who are rebuking are right, and you’re wrong. In that case, toughen up and receive that rebuke as a correction, don’t be stiff necked. Always take the time required to investigate a rebuke if possible.
By doing so, you not only learn the correction by way of the rebuke, but you learn where you went wrong, how you went wrong, what you should have done, etc.. Not to bewail the past, but to prevent repeating something that you don’t want to repeat.
These are some things that an open rebuke can give you, if pride has been kicked to the curb, and you are humble enough to receive. It’s that whole pride thing though… It tends to just make us mad when we’re being rebuked or corrected, regardless of whether or not we’re right or wrong.
Related New Testament Scripture
Philippians 2: King James Bible
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
1 Timothy 5: King James Bible
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
2 Timothy 4: King James Bible
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Titus 1: King James Bible
12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Hebrews 12: King James Bible
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Jude 1: King James Bible
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Revelation 3: King James Bible
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Thank you for your Word, and for all of the things that you’ve packed into it! Help us to not be prideful in the face of an open rebuke. Lead us to learn as much as is possible, so that we remain correct, or become corrected as a result of an open rebuke. Help us to avoid having a hardness of heart through pride and every vain imagination, that would hinder us from being justly corrected in areas of our lives that require correction. All this Lord, so that we are better children, better servants unto you, and better citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Ever get angry at an open rebuke, just to find out later you were in the wrong?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 17 P. 231 – Stripes into a Fool
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 13 P.147 – Rich or Poor
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 15 P.191 – Correction from God
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 13 P.143 – Instruction and Rebuke
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 15 P.190 – Prayer of the Upright