• By John Hicks

Is rebuke now somehow a bad thing?

It has been noticed on several occasions lately that folks are rebuking people for rebuking others. Sometimes this is done by those who are directly being rebuked for scriptural errors. Their attempts to silence these corrections are typically rooted in their own personal beliefs that rebuke, which they usually call arguing, essentially is not a good thing to do. I know it sounds hypocritical but that is essentially what is happening when they use the very thing they say is bad to silence those who are doing it correctly and in obedience to God.

It is sad that we have come to place where open rebuke of those in error is seen as a bad thing.

Somehow those who do this are professing Christians who have overlooked that Paul said “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20) and King Solomon said “Open rebuke is better than secret love” (Proverbs 27:5).

People who are guilty of this will misuse verses such as Galatians 5:10 where Paul told the church “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Those who use verses such as this one to silence arguments rooted in godly rebuke are doing so outside of the original intent of God’s word. Doing good unto all men includes correcting others where they may be in error and when this is done in light of God’s word, and in love. Many people today consider the truth as hateful even when it is delivered out of love. By twisting rebuke into something such as hateful arguing and saying it is thus not godly in order to silence any needed correction sadly falls under the warning “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). 

The world’s wicked souls despise being rebuked but God’s children embrace it.

Following is the definition of rebuke along with some applicable supporting scriptures that include rebuke and related words such as reprove and admonish.

Rebuke according to Webster’s 1828 is:


1. To chide; to reprove; to reprehend for a fault; to check by reproof.

2. To check or restrain.

3. To chasten; to punish; to afflict for correction.

4. To check; to silence.

5. To check; to heal.

6. To restrain; to calm.


1. A chiding; reproof for faults; reprehension.

2. In Scripture, chastisement; punishment; affliction for the purpose of restraint and correction. Ezekiel 5:15. Hosea 5.

3. In low language, any kind of check.


Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 1 Timothy 5:20

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Proverbs 9:8              

A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke. Proverbs 13:1              

The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. Proverbs 13:8   

He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Proverbs 24:24-25           

Open rebuke is better than secret love. Proverbs 27:5       

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:5        

This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Titus 1:13-14

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Titus 2:11-15

He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. Proverbs 28:23  


Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. Proverbs 19:25           

Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:10-11

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2

A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise. Proverbs 15:12              


And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14

And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13

#rebuke #reprove #admonish

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