Rebuke vs Flattery

by David Apple August 18, 2014 Scripture: Proverbs 28:23

Proverbs 28:23

Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.

"He won’t like that I’ve corrected him." That thought has prevented me and others from confronting a friend with their offense. We are such people pleasers that we fear doing right. Yet, it is our Christian duty build up (edify) those who need to be strengthened in their walk. Matthew Henry’s commentary says, "Reprovers may displease those at first, yet afterwards, will love and respect them. He that deals faithfully with his friend, in telling him of his faults, though he may put him into some heat for the present, and perhaps have hard words…afterwards will not only have the comfort in his own bosom of having done his duty—a kindness. He that cries out against his surgeon for hurting him when he is searching his wound will yet pay him well, and thank him too, when he has cured it."

Flatterers may please those for a time who, upon second thoughts, will detest and despise them. A flatterer is one who lavishes praise—often insincerely. Flattery is not a spiritual gift. We are to tell the truth in love and use words to build one another up (that it might benefit those who listen).