Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.
This is a hard truth to learn and practice for those of us who live in fear of offending any one, any place, at any time. (This is me.). Flattery is so much easier and so much more PC. It flows off of the lips and makes people feel better. It’s soft and fluffy and sweet – like a pastry. Everyone likes pastry! Truth has a hard edge and it often cuts when we least expect it. But, of course, not all wounds are bad. (Think surgery.) Rebuke flowing from love is sharper than any two edged sword dividing sin from sinew and opening the eyes of those who would dare receive it. Truly, truth rebukes those it loves for it longs to see them changed for the better.
As odd as it sounds to the ears of those with flattering lips, love-based rebuke flowing from truth brings favor. It is truly a blessing to surround oneself with those who will share the truth even when it hurts. When motivated by true friendship and love, rebuke brings blessing to the rebuked and favor to the ‘rebuker’. I know this is right because I read it in the Bible and every word of God proves true.
Give us discernment regarding when to rebuke. Courage to give it when clearly necessary. Humility to receive it.
Flattery will be flattened and favor will follow.