Another of those “better…than” proverbs, this one speaks of “open” vs. “hidden” and “rebuke” vs. “love.” It may be hard to imagine “open rebuke” as being good or better, but it can be – and it really is better than “hidden love.”
Just how much good does “hidden love” do anyone? None. The one being loved never really gets to know or appreciate hidden love, no matter how sincere it is. The one loving never gets to communicate those feelings or even experience any response.
Of course, I don’t believe the writer had in mind inappropriate relationships here. “Hidden love” is not about secret sexual affairs or fantasies. It is about not communicating appreciation to others for who they are or what they do.
In truth, under most circumstances, we would all be better off with a good, honest and open rebuke any day. At least we will know where we stand – and we just might learn something!