Skip to main content

Proverbs 28:23 meaning...

This proverb delves into the dynamics of human interaction, specifically focusing on the contrasting approaches of rebuke and flattery. It suggests that providing constructive criticism or correction, though it may initially be challenging, leads to greater favor in the long run compared to using flattering words.

  • The Long-Term Impact of Rebuke:

The phrase "He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor" implies a temporal sequence. Initially, the act of offering a rebuke may not be met with immediate favor or approval. In fact, rebuke can be uncomfortable, as it involves pointing out areas of improvement or correction. However, the wisdom lies in recognizing that the long-term outcome is more favorable.

  • The Deceptive Nature of Flattery:

On the other side of the equation is flattery, which involves excessive or insincere praise with the intention of winning favor. While flattery might create a momentary sense of approval, the proverb suggests that its effects are short-lived. Flattering words, when not aligned with truth or genuine sentiment, may ultimately lead to disappointment.

  • Significance of the Proverb:

True Friendship and Favor: The proverb touches on the essence of genuine relationships. True friends are willing to offer constructive criticism for the betterment of the other person, even if it may not be immediately well-received.

The Perils of Flattery: It serves as a cautionary reminder about the potential dangers of relying on flattering words to gain favor. While flattery may provide momentary satisfaction, its impact is transient, and it lacks the depth that comes with honest communication.

The Value of Correction: The proverb underscores the value of correction and rebuke in personal and interpersonal growth. It suggests that individuals who are open to constructive criticism are more likely to experience long-term favor and improvement.

Relevance Today:

Feedback in Professional Settings: In the workplace, the proverb resonates with the importance of constructive feedback for professional development. Leaders who provide meaningful guidance, even if it involves correction, contribute to a culture of growth and improvement.

Authenticity in Relationships: In personal relationships, the proverb encourages authenticity and transparency. It prompts individuals to value honesty over superficial praise, fostering deeper connections.

Navigating Social Dynamics: In a world where communication can be influenced by various motives, the proverb guides us in navigating social dynamics with integrity. It encourages us to prioritize truthfulness over the allure of flattery.


Proverbs 27:6: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; although the kisses of an enemy are profuse." This verse echoes the idea that sincere correction, even if initially painful, is more trustworthy than insincere expressions of friendship.

Psalm 141:5: "Let the righteous strike me, it is kindness; let him reprove me, it is like oil on the head; let my head not refuse it." This Psalm acknowledges the value of righteous correction, comparing it to an act of kindness.

Proverbs 28:23, with its timeless wisdom, serves as a guide for cultivating meaningful relationships, fostering personal growth, and navigating the delicate balance between correction and approval.

Proverbs 28:23. One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than one who flatters with the tongue.


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness