"Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed." (Proverbs 27:5)
Worldly love is mostly superficial and self-seeking. It doesnâ€™t have much value. For love is neither a piece of commercial advertisement nor a business transaction. Love should be sincere and freely given, without any expectation of return.
O, the beauty of hidden love! One that persists in loving others without their knowledge, and one that gives without expecting anything in return. How pure and magnanimous! Let us not ask, "How much hidden love have I received?" But rather ask, "How much hidden love have I given to others?" Imagine how beautiful this world would be if everyone had such a noble heart!
Hidden love is difficult to come by, but even rarer is a love that is willing to openly rebuke. Hidden love requires only a kind and merciful heart, but open rebuke takes moral courage.
Deep in the night, when my child kicked away his quilt, his mother would lovingly cover him again. When he made a mistake, she would chide him openly with several words of moral teaching. These incidents would remind me of my motherâ€™s love during my own childhoodâ€”a hidden love coupled with open rebuke. They are fond memories that are long past. It is a depth of love I have missed and yearned to receive again.
Slander is sordid behavior, but open rebuke comes from sincerity. If we were to make a careful observation of those around us, we would be surprised to learn how many people backbite, but do not have the honesty to rebuke openly!
Someone who dares to rebuke us openly is difficult to come by. We should encourage ourselves to cultivate a loving heart with moral courage. True love enables us to correct the faults of our brothers and sisters in a positive manner. It enables our church to progress and better resemble the household of God.