Who likes being reprimanded? Yeah, I’m not raising my hand, either.
Who likes not knowing the certainty of the love from a friend or family member?
God says one of these is worse than the other – and it’s not the reprimand!
The Good News Bible paraphrases Proverbs 27:5 as, “Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don’t care for him at all.” while The Message uses, “A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.”
First, when a friend or member of our family points out where we’re wrong about something, we need to see that as an expression of love. If that person didn’t love us, they wouldn’t care a whit if we made a mistake or a wrong choice. They would go happily along living life.
Second, we must express our love well. To allow a friend to continue in a wrong choice without challenge is not love, nor is leaving them unsure of our approval and sincere love.
Of course, we must be careful that we’re determining “wrong” based on what God says. We also have to know that when we share that correction, that person may not choose to accept it and change their course. That’s their choice.
The gist here is that too often we hang around people and assume that they know our love for them simply because we’re still there. That they know we’re proud of them because we smile at them.
We must stop that! I was pretty sure my dad was proud of me when I brought home honor roll report cards, and played in the band, but I never heard the words, “I am proud of you” until after I was 50 years old. Don’t be like that!
We must never assume someone knows how we care about them. We must open our mouths and tell them.
“The Five Love Languages” is an excellent book to help us understand how our dear ones best receive our declarations of love. Once we understand that, we need to be using that tactic often.
And really, y’all… that word of correction isn’t that friend trying to crush you or stop you from all your fun and good intentions. That person is taking the risk that you’ll be ticked off and choose to no longer be their friend in order to love you well. A risk we’ll take when we love others well.
Let’s work on these two things: receiving correction with the right heart and sharing our love and approval as openly as we do our criticism.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.