An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
How do you react when someone corrects you? Are you threatened and defensive, or do you receive correction with a grateful heart?
God always “tells it like it is” to His people. He reminded Israel that she had at one time been like an infant cast out of doors, bloody and naked. His faithful concern for her brought her to maturity, adulthood, and prominence. Rejecting God’s faithfulness, however, Israel became faithless and was described in Ezekiel 16:32 as an “adulterous wife who takes in strangers instead of her own husband.” So corrupt was Israel that God compared her to a prostitute that insisted on paying her suitors (vv. 33-34)! These rebukes, harsh though they may seem, were intended to bring Israel back to repentance.
Those who whitewash sin and do not tell you the truth about yourself are actually contributing to your destruction. It is better to be rebuked openly if it causes your repentance and restoration. Look for friends who are willing to wound you with correction, rather than enemies who multiply kisses!
A friend’s courage in confronting you will produce a change in your character and may save you from eternal destruction. After all, doesn’t everyone have a blind side?