It is said that the truth said directly hurts and some people prefer to keep silent, to keep the truth for them for fear to hurt the ones they love. But in my opinion concealment or postpone of telling the truth only makes everything go worse … How do you comment on this issue? Thank you in advance and God help you.
The open rebuke proves the faithfulness of a friend
In the book of Proverbs of Solomon God says:
Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. – (Proverbs 27:5-6)(NASB)
I saw many people who advanced in madness just because no one confronted them.There are wives who do not help their husbands, but encourage them in their wrong choices, maybe not to offend them.But I’ve seen also situations when men did not say a word to their wife when she needed an open rebuke.If you do not rebuke when it is necessary, thus you seem more like an enemy than a friend.
The example of the prophet Nathan
When King David sinned with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah the Hittite, the prophet Nathan came to the king, who was also his friend and rebuked him, but he did it wisely:
Then the LORD sent Nathan to David And he came to him and said, ”There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. ”The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.” Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD ” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. (2 Samuel 12:1-13)(NASB)
Rebuke the one who receives the rebuke
In a psalm, King David says:
Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it, for still my prayer is against their wicked deeds. (Psalm 141:5)(NASB)
Not all receive reprimand
That is why Scripture says:
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you. (Proverbs 9:8)(NASB)
Be attentive when you reprove
When he wrote to Timothy how to treat Christians in the Church whom he shepherded, he said:
Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, (1 Timothy 5:1)(NASB)
So, you shall say the reprimand with wisdom, so that people will see and feel your love for them and the care that you have for them.
Speak with grace
When he wrote the Christians from Colossae city how to treat the unbelievers, Paul says:
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6)(NASB)
So, let us speak so that our speech, even when it comes to rebuke and to tell the truth, bring grace and blessing.
There is such kind of people that are used to rebuke everyone and everywhere and they think it is a virtue. It is not good to be like them:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. – (Proverbs 15:1-2)(NASB)
Speak so that people will feel good and want your presence and not be like a smoke in the eyes of those who see you.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru