Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Prov. 27:5–6
Lord Jesus, grant us courage for loving in sticky, broken, messy relationships. Sometimes the anxiety about making a bigger mess makes it easy to ignore certain people and issues. But that’s like trying to ignore a broken bone, a COVID infection, or cancer. The matter will only get worse. To say we’re conflict avoidant is a confession of sin, but not a personality description.
Thank you for the frankness of your Word. When we flatter our friends, family members, or working associates, but withhold honest feedback and rebukes, this verse says we’re living as their enemy. Forgive us, and help us, Jesus.
Grant us the grace, words, and boldness we need. Our culture is filled with toxic shaming, and mean-spirited criticism. That’s not what this is about. You’re calling us to build each other up, not tear each other down. A “Gospel-wounding” ultimately brings healing and freedom. But it often brings pain at first.
We acknowledge our fear of man, which is a “dangerous trap” (Prov. 29:25). We also acknowledge we’re so angry as some people, we just want to cause them some of the same pain they’re causing us. Free us, Jesus.
We rest in your love, because you first revealed the depth of our need—which you continue to do. Because you cared enough to expose our sin and brokenness, we now live by your mercy and grace.
You took the ultimate wounding on the cross that we might be healed forever. Thank you, Jesus; and please extend your rescuing, reclaiming, and restoring love through us. So very Amen we pray, in your bold and beautiful name.