August 12, 2013 by Chris French
What could possibly be worse that public humiliation? We’ve all had the dream where we showed up to school naked, right? Being embarrassed is bad, but being embarrassed in public is worse! In Jesus’ upside down kingdom though something is worse than being publicly humiliated. That something is being loved secretly. Yeah, you read that right! It is better for you for someone to openly rebuke you than to secretly love you (Proverbs 27.5).
That word “open” involves the idea of disgrace like Jewish slaves being stripped down and carried off into slavery. That’s a serious rebuke! This word carries with it the idea of being completely laid open. This exact word is used in Jeremiah 32.11 when Jeremiah is referring to an open scroll. He could see all the contents of the scroll, just like the person rebuking you has seen your sin and is laying it out for everyone to view.
Most of us don’t like conflict and usually the ones who do enjoy conflict don’t approach criticizing others well. Obviously it should never be our intent to embarrass someone out of their sin. Jesus Himself prescribes a one on one method of snatching someone out of their sin (Matt. 18.15-20), but if you are rebuked publicly, whether the rebuke went thru the proscribed method first or not, it’s better than being loved secretly. One quick disclaimer: the only person in this situation you can control is yourself and you can grow from even an incorrect method of rebuke.
Why is it better to be openly corrected than loved in secret? Read tomorrow…