WHAT IS BETTER FOR YOU IN YOUR LIFE, REBUKE OR FLATTERY?

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“Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23 NIV)

Rebuke is better than flattery.

If you have someone in your life who speaks loving truth to you, cherish them.  People who use flattery to gain friends are soon exposed.  Whoever tells you about the lettuce stuck in your teeth, they are people who love you.  Having greenery in the pearly whites is something we can’t see ourselves; we need someone to see it for us.  The problem is, a lot of people know the spinach is there but don’t tell you.  Instead, they let you walk around looking silly.  Pointing out a flaw to someone is never easy but necessary for growth.

My husband and I are working our way through a year-long couples devotion.  Often the questions lead to discussions on things that annoy each of us.  The author is trying to help us have difficult conversations with each other.  My husband’s insights into my life have opened my eyes to things alone I would never see.  Lovingly, he points out the lettuce in my life.

Help others see the lettuce.

Rebuking is disapproval of someone’s actions.  However, the person committing the act may not know they are heading down the wrong path.  When we see someone moving in a misguided direction, we should try to stop them. If we don’t tell them about the lettuce, they’ll never see it in their teeth. In other words, we’re holding a mirror up, reflecting to them what we see.

One of my most life-changing rebukes came from my husband.  We were answering a question about two life-defining moments from our childhood.  As usual, I talked about my father’s death when I was 16 and his disability growing up.  My husband’s moments were both sports-related.  As our conversation deepened, my husband pointed out; I wore my suffering like a badge.  In other words, I was proud of my misery.  Yes, we argued our way through this discussion for most of the night.  But as the dawn broke, I pulled the lettuce from my teeth.

My husband’s rebuke helped me gain a new perspective.  His insight opened my eyes to a new level of awareness I had not seen.  I began to understand the impact of my father’s death in a new light.  I was comparing my pain to others, but instead, I needed to just sympathize with their pain.  Suffering isn’t a competition.  No one wins because they’ve suffered “more” than someone else.  Now, when I start to “show my badge,” my husband’s words remind me, it’s not a contest.

Question of the Day:

Do you have people in your life who will help you see the lettuce?

Further Reading:Daniel 7:1-28 NIV, 1 John 1:1-10 NIV, Psalm 119:153-176 NIV, Proverbs 28:23-24 NIV

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