An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. -Proverbs 27:5-6 (NLT)

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)

I grew up in a household and culture where confrontation was taboo, and avoidance was the unspoken rule. To speak your mind was to confront, to possibly imply that someone else was wrong, and neither one was okay. It was the unspoken rule to be quiet, be obedient, and keep my thoughts to myself.

This had tremendous consequences in personal and business relationships, even to this day. Avoidance of issues and confrontation could make for worse consequences down the road…consequences that could have been avoided if I’d spoken up earlier.

The other byproducts of avoidance are resentment and secrecy. Not feeling free to speak and share meant I had to either be disgruntled and stuff my feelings, or act in secret to get my way while still not causing a disturbance.

But Jesus woke me up, broke my elephant chain, and showed me what He did: He confronted sin directly. He went deep into the uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unfriendly places to show what love really looked like.

When we truly love others, we lovingly speak up and out against sin and wrongdoing. It may not be met with gratitude or even love or kindness in return, but we know we follow in His footsteps when we righteously stand up and speak up.

Call out abuse. Call out rudeness. Speak what’s on your heart, rather than holding it in again. Stop the enabling and codependency you’ve been unwittingly generating.

It’s not always easy to do that, especially if you’ve been conditioned to not rock the boat at any cost. But whether it’s your child or your spouse or your boss, know He will carry and support you–and even forge you a backbone–as you act and speak out in love, exposing sin in His light of truth. True love confronts.