“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”

Proverbs 27:5

I like people and want people to like me. So to tell them that their conduct is dishonest or immoral isn’t easy for me.

When we get acquainted with people and they tell us they are living immorally, we should be bold enough to tell them the truth in love; not that you are condemning or confronting but letting them know that we all must answer to God one day if truly we believe in God.

We should be able to let people know that we cannot live our lives anyhow, it does matter how we live. When such people even express some belief in God, we must gently share with them what He has said about their conduct. Many times this opens the door to present the good news of salvation.

Ahab called Elijah an enemy (1 King 21:20). But he was wrong; the prophet was really his best earthly friend. If only he would have listened to God’s servant, he could have been a good king and a child of God. Lord, help us to be loving as we confront people with their sin. And help us to see that those who point out our sins are not our enemies but our true friends.

Now when we correct people we need to carefully balance with grace and speaking the truth. Some people are strong in speaking the truth but weak in grace giving. These are people who tell it like it is, but they do it with the subtlety of a professional wrestler. These are people who see the situation, and who aren’t afraid to confront, but who haven’t yet learned to love and show compassion. People weak in grace giving often refuse to forgive.

Other people are strong in grace giving but weak in speaking the truth. These are people who hate conflict and avoid it at all costs. They’d rather pretend that everything is fine, to keep over- looking obvious sins that need to be confronted. But these are people who often explode when the pressure keeps building. Or they simply avoid the relationship entirely.

Clearly we need to balance our rebuking with grace when we admonish people so that we can be like Jesus when we rebuke a person.

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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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