Proverbs 28: 23
“He that rebukes a man afterwards shall find more favor than he that flatters with the tongue.”
Have you ever had a situation where you were prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak truth to a friend or family member, that you knew could cause them to be angry toward you? But you knew that you must speak what was on your heart to save that family member or friend’s life or turn them from a direction they were going?
This passage tells us that it is better to speak up than to give flattering words, for when the results of the wrong doing have manifested, the questions may come, “Why didn’t you warn me?” or “Why did you lie to me?”
It is often easier to turn our back on the sins or shortcomings of others than to call them out from their blindness; but the Word tells us that favor is found if we are truthful. And if we are the ones who receive instruction or rebuke from another, it is often easier to become angry and turn away from the faithful friend, until we meet the results of our sin or shortcoming. Then we must humble ourselves and be restored through God’s forgiveness.
In both cases we have no excuses. For those who withheld the wisdom of the Holy Spirit because they were afraid to speak out; we are held accountable for the work that was left undone. For those who resisted the wisdom of those who revealed truth to us, we are held accountable for the sin of rebellion.
Prayer: Father, help us to open our mouth in love when the Holy Spirit prompts us to speak to our friends and family. And help us to hear when someone speaks truth to us through the Holy Spirit. LORD, an offended brother is harder to win than a fortified city, but if speaking the truth in love will save their life; strengthen us and give us courage to speak out. Thank you that your Word is Truth and we ask that we will apply the wisdom to our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.