Proverbs 27:5 Dissected and Defined
Open rebuke (correction without feeling, leadership Development) is better than secret (private) love.
This love mentioned is the love a person should have for his neighbor. A helping kind of love. But this neighbor keeps the benefits of his love private. He does not exercise it for the benefit of the neighbor. He reserves truth.
A Merciful Mentor
When I worked in the oil business, I enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Dan, the owner of our organization. He was a professional mentor to me. He was an incredibly gifted man and oozed motivation. Just being around him made you want to do more, be more and give more to the organization. He was kind, considerate, and generous. He loved me in a way that I truly appreciated. However, he was a mercy. Mercy is one of the motivational gifts of the Spirit. It is much different than the gift of prophecy. A mercy will not tell you what you need to hear. They tell you what you want to hear. There is a unique role in the Lord’s work for a mercy, but being frank and forthright with rebuke is not one of them. That is reserved for the prophet!
A Developing Christian
Dan trained me in business and he gave me great insight and encouragement in my personal life. When I first began working at Ranger Enterprises, I had many personal issues that needed drastic work. I was slothful, a poor steward of my money, critical and judgmental, dishonest, and lacked integrity. Not much of an employee, was I? However, Dan saw me as a developing Christian and hired me. He encouraged me with his motivational gifts. However, the single most important step he took was to place me under his VP: Richard McMahon.
A Straightforward Realist
A retired Army Ranger, Richard was brash and forward. He rebuked me daily. His staunch accountability shaped me. While Richard would tear me down, Dan would build me up. Richard would tell it like he saw it. Dan would tell it like he hoped to see it. One was a realist, the other a visionary.
Leadership Development Takes Both Mercy And Truth
These men broke me and stroked me until God determined I was faithful, putting me into the ministry. From an apathetic rookie fleet salesman to a productive Christian worker, how did I qualify for His full-time service? Simple: With both mercy and truth. I enjoyed Dan’s private praise, and I submitted to Richard’s open rebuke!