“Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5)
Honesty is the best policy is an axiom that has been handed down from generation to generation from time immemorial, and it is never so true as it is when it describes truthfulness in relationships.
The preacher says in this passage that a true friend is one who will “rebuke” us when we need it rather than withholding from us what we really need to hear under the pretense of friendship or of not wanting to hurt our feelings. Such a situation is deceitful—it constitutes withholding love rather than displaying it.
Sometimes we need correcting so that we can avoid making ourselves look foolish or getting ourselves into an embarrassing situation. And the ability to give and to receive correction without being offended lays the foundation for a true friendship.