better is Open Rebuke than Hidden Love

Proverbs 27:5-6
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

One of the greatest things Jesus said will cause the world to know that we are His...His followers...His friends....His family of God, united in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit is this - our love for one another (John 14:34-35).

And how do we Christians love one another as Christ has loved us? We do what Jesus did.

We love with:
  1. No concern for what we might gain or lose from loving the other person (Matthew 16:25-26, Galatians 1:10, 1 Peter 3:13-14).
  2. The best interest of the other person, not according to our opinion of what is best, but according to what God says is best (1 Corinthians 10:23-24, Ephesians 4:29, Philippians 2:3-5 & 1 Peter 4:11).
  3. Sacrificial love - for if we serve & give to one another only when it's convenient for us, we are no longer "living sacrifices", but conveniently living (Proverbs 3:28, Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 5:1-2)
  4. Truth (Psalm 40:10, Zechariah 8:16-17, Ephesians 4:15-16 & 25), grace (Colossians 4:6, Ephesians 5:4), compassion (Colossians 3:12), and in one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4-6 & 11-14). We do not run away from confrontation, we do not gloss over sins, we do not arrogantly accuse (Romans 12:3, Galatians 6:1-2,), we do not argue and we do not allow personal offenses to separate the bond of peace with God and one another, of which Christ died to give us (Philippians 2:1-2 & 14-15, Ephesians 4:2-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
  5. Honor - coming to one another's defense, remembering if one part of the body suffers, we all suffer, if one part of the body rejoices, we all rejoice (John 17:12a, Proverbs 17:17, Ecclesiastes 4:12, 1 Corinthians 12:26, Galatians 6:2)
  6. Forgiveness - not "getting over" but working through conflicts, disagreements or sins committed against one another. For jumping over "hurdles" may seem easier and may appear like an accomplishment, but when you come back to that part of the track again, you'll find it's still there. We must work through the "hurdles" with one another and flatten it - when we come around that way again, we'll see the evidence of it, but it will no longer slow us down, trip us up, nor stress us out, but instead it will be a blessed reminder of a trial we've overcome in Christ and have our relationships strengthened because of it (Colossians 3:12-14, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11)
  7. Humility and in community with other believers, not considering or claiming anything to belong to ourselves, but sharing all our possessions, resources, talents and gifts God has given us with one another so that everyone in the Body of Christ may be built up & be given as they need (Titus 3:2, 1 Peter 5:5, 1 Corinthians 12:22-25, Acts 2:44-47, Hebrews 10:24-25
We love one another enough to tell each other the truth with the love, compassion and humility of Christ our Lord. True love doesn't flatter and tell you just what you want to hear, as flattery is just another form of a lie (Proverbs 26:28), and lying is showing hatred towards a person not love.

Romans 5:8
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

1 Peter 2:23-24
"When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed."