We would do well to remember what King Solomon says in Proverbs 27:5-6: “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
If I am practicing sin in my life and you know about it, please tell me the truth. Do not lavish me with hugs and kisses and fail to point out my shortcomings. Please tell me whatever it is in my life that can hinder my relationship with God. In short, if you are a true friend, tell me when I’ve got spinach in my teeth.
This reminds me of a little article by Bill Crews that I read years ago. I’m including it below in its entirety.
Give me the Truth!
If you are my friend, if you are concerned about my soul, give me the truth.
Do not flatter me. Do not praise my virtues while remaining silent about my vices. Do not fear that the truth will offend me. Do not treasure our friendship, our friendly relations, above my salvation. Do not think that by ignoring my sins you can help. Do not think that being blind to my sins will prove yourself charitable.
However I may react to it, whatever may be my attitude toward you after you have done it, give me the truth! For the truth, and only the truth, can make men free from the shackles of sin [John 8:31-32], strengthen me in the pathway of righteousness, and lead me to the joys of heaven.
If I am wavering, weak, lukewarm, indifferent, neglectful; if I have been overtaken in a trespass [Galatians 6:1], if I have been drawn into the pleasures of the world; if I have left my first love [Revelation 2:4]; if I have been led astray by error; or if I have done none of these, but simply need to grow in knowledge and be edified, give me the truth!