Do not boast about tomorrow,
    for you do not know what a day may bring.

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
    an outsider, and not your own lips.

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
    but who can stand before jealousy?

5 Better is open rebuke
    than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

The last verse of Proverbs 26 says: ”A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

Warren Wiersbe says, ‘Flattery is not communication; it is manipulation.’

However, there clearly is a right and proper way to ”praise” another person (see 27:2). There is a way to encourage without employing flattery.

But there is also a gift in a timely and loving rebuke:

‘True friendship will occasionally involve wounds (vv.5-6) as you speak the truth in love (Eph.4:15) because friendship cannot be built upon deception or envy (v.4).’ Warren Wiersbe.

I remember an outstanding article in ‘Leadership Journal’ in which a well-known pastor wrote about the gift of feedback (or rebuke). He said that as a young pastor, the chairman of the church board took him out for lunch and raised a number of issues with him. He admitted that at the time he bridled a bit, but the wise chair said to him, ‘Pastor, you are going to have to develop a thicker skin. This is not about you personally, but helping to improve your ministry.’ From the perspective of years, this greatly respected pastor acknowledged that there was a gift to be treasured in that difficult conversation (and in others like it).