"Better is open rebuke
than hidden love."
Those who have felt the sting of rebuke know how painful it is, and those who have given it, even more so. Yet even more painful and breaking than rebuke in the wide open, is love hiding deep in one's soul.
We begin at surface level and always press deeper.
How painful is human love when hidden? It eats away at a person, nearly worse than bitterness. Secrecy and timidity become the watchwords of one's character, and what was at first a game, an innocent notion taken too far, becomes the worst of self-inflicted heartbreak.
But the love of God, when hidden, is a far more serious matter.
"He who denies me before men, I will deny before my Father in heaven" (Luke 12:9). Hidden love is false love. "Do not dare to claim you love me," He says, "if the whole world cannot be told."
Are you ashamed of Him? of His cross?
If not, then tell someone what He has done for you! If you do not, you have no part in Him.
This brings to mind a development of so-called "missions strategy" called insider movements taking place in the Middle East and various other M//m areas. Some new believers in Jesus are urged not to separate at all from their former community - but to be salt and light among them by loving Jesus in secret.
Why then does He say, "Come out from among them and be separate, and I will receive you" (2 Corinthians 6:17), and how can salt preserve if it is not recognized as such, or a light under a basket profit anyone?
Yes, their blood may be their first and last testimony if they declare faith in Jesus as Messiah, but what stronger testimony to faith is there than to walk in the footsteps of one's master?
"Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Luke 9:24).
Hidden love is dangerous - deadly, because it is the stronghold of falsehood and the den of deceit. Even in human relationships it breaks hearts, breeds confusion, and bleeds selfishness.
Love. The nature of the word itself requires a declaration of loyalty. And such He made to us.
By His blood on the cross.