Happy Tuesday! Thanksgiving (here in the US, anyway) is nearly here. I am grateful to have made it through another year, and for the Lord’s ongoing faithfulness to me (even when I do not understand His thoughts or His ways). I am thankful for each of you, as well — you are a blessing.
As I was reviewing some verses recently, I came across this familiar one from Proverbs 27 — not a verse that generally fills our hearts with warm and fuzzy feelings, but still contains an important truth for us to ponder. At first glance, the idea of “open rebuke” sounds harsh and unappealing, and “love that is hidden” doesn’t seem to be all that bad, does it?
Or is it?
Think about it. If love is hidden, then you do not know that it is even there. The person in your life may love you ardently, but you would have no idea, as the affections remain veiled. The feelings may be there, but there is no commensurate action to match the (unexpressed) feelings. So how would you know that this person even cares a whit for you at all? (The answer is that you wouldn’t.)
On the contrary, open rebuke certainly isn’t my preferred way of receiving feedback, but at least I know that the person in my life cares enough to share his/her thoughts with me (even if I do not agree with them). With some exceptions, I understand that the person is not indifferent to my existence and is taking time out of his/her life to offer a new perspective, even if it is not one that I happen to share. And I suppose that open rebuke is better than its more sinister counterpart — where someone speaks ill of you, but does so in a secretive and deceptive way. No, if someone is going to rebuke me, I suppose I’d rather have it be out in the open, rather than shielded in half-truths and flat-out lies.
However, the most ideal situation would be to have someone be openly loving — that way, if rebuke is warranted for some reason, it is understood by both parties that the gentle, heartfelt rebuke is being offered from a place of love, and desire for the other person’s greatest good.
So these are my thoughts on this verse. What are your thoughts?