“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27: 5-6
Believe it or not these are two of my favorite verses in the Old Testament. They deal with relationship at a very deep and intense level. They speak of deep friendship and love. Friendship and love that transcend any situation that we may find ourselves in.
I really love verse five because it even works backwards……better is open love than hidden rebuke. I don’t know why I ever switched it around like that, but it surely fits either way. Better is open rebuke …. I totally agree with that. I would rather someone love me enough to publicly rebuke me, no matter the cost to my reputation, than I would have someone love me in secret. Let’s face it… there are sometimes in our lives when we need to be on the receiving end of strong words of correction. Who better is to bring this rebuke than a dear close friend? In times like those the only people that could really reach out to us and minister effectively to such a need would be a true friend. I am extremely thankful to have friends with such love and courage in my life and I am blessed to have been at times rebuked by them.
Why am I glad to have such friends in my life? Friends that would challenge and rebuke me if needed? Simply because their wounds can be trusted. If someone comes to me in the Spirit of love and with respect I could receive about any message from this person. Be it good news or bad I would trust them, and even if they were wrong it would still be well with my soul. Yes- “men” I do not need in my life. People that would kiss my ass I do not want or need. What I do need from friends is gut level honesty. I need friends that are honest and true, even if I don’t like the kind of truth they are presenting to me.
True friends like that are not easy to find, but I have found many of them in totally open & free, Spirit led fellowship over the last forty some years. In most traditional/institutional “churches” scripture and right doctrine reign supreme at times even over Christ Himself. However, in a truly Spirit led church relationships with Jesus and one another are central to the life of the church. We are all called to be REAL and AUTHENTIC, but in most “christian” circles these days superficiality is what you get and most seem satisfied with that level of relationship. Jesus calls for much more than that, with Him and with one another. So why don’t we just go for it each and everyday? Give Him all your fears and insecurity and take a leap of faith by allowing others to see and experience the real you, totally free and uncensored. I started doing that over forty years ago and I am never looking back. Does anyone out there want to join me on this grand adventure? If so buckle up, because it is a bumpy ride, but well worth the trip!
Love and ….
Kirk Out !