Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"One Another"

Our family has been studying various scriptural topics together, and one area that we looked at recently was the “one another” verses of Scripture and especially how they relate within the family unit, and then also to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Having read the Bible many times (and some passages/books a great many times), I thought I was fairly familiar with the instruction given for how we are to specifically treat one another . . . love one another, encourage one another, and things along those lines.

I was amazed, though, to discover just how many specific commands are given! And how far reaching those commands are. As I looked through the long list that Dad had compiled and studied the verses therein, I found my heart humbled and convicted . . . how far short I was falling in so many areas of where the Lord has called me to be!

As our family then gathered together and discussed among ourselves the different things that we learned and which particular areas spoke to our hearts, the thought came to mind that these “one another” verses would be an excellent blog post. Perhaps you have already studied these, perhaps you have never even heard of them, or perhaps you are like me and had known in part, but had not fully realized the broad scope and the great depth that a true one another love encompasses. I do hope that whichever one you are, that what is shared here will be a blessing and encouragement to you . . . and remember, these are not simply suggestions, but are commands from God to those of us who are His children . . .

~ Love one another (John 13:34, 13:35, 15:12, 15:17; Romans 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11, 4:12; 2 John 1:5)

~ Increase and abound in love toward one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

~ Fervently love one another (1 Peter 1:22, 4:8)

~ Keep fervent in your love for one another (1 Peter 4:8)

~ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Romans 12:10)

~ Be of the same mind toward one another (Romans 12:16)

~ Give preference to one another in honor (Romans 12:10)

~ Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

~ Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

~ Admonish one another (Romans 15:14)

~ Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)

~ Serve one another (through love) (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10)

~ Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2)
~ Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:23)

~ Be tender-hearted to one another (Ephesians 4:23)

~ Be forgiving of one another (Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:13)

~ Show tolerance for one another with humility, gentleness, and patience and in love (Ephesians 4:2)

~ Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:21)

~ Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)

~ Regard one another as more important than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)

~ Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)

~ Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

~ Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:25)

~ Live in peace with one another (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

~ Seek after that which is good for one another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

~ Confess sins to one another (James 5:16)

~ Pray for one another (James 5:16)

~ Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9)

~ Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5)

~ Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)

And then the “do nots”

~ Do not judge one another (Romans 14:13; though this does not negate the need for discernment and righteous judgment – context on this verse is important!)

~ Do not challenge one another (Galatians 5:26)

~ Do not envy one another (Galatians 5:26)

~ Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9)

~ Do not repay evil for evil to another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

~ Do not hate one another (Titus 3:3)

~ Do not speak against one another (James 4:11)

~ Do not complain against one another (James 5:9)

How convicting this list is! And I found it especially interesting how many times “love one another” is mentioned (at least 16 times); and also how few “do nots” there are compared to the “dos”. It is much easier to simply refrain from doing something (though it still can be quite difficult!), but it takes much more effort, commitment, forethought, and perseverance to do those things that God has commanded us.

One particular “one another” especially convicted my heart, and it led to a bit further investigation on my part as to what it means . . . “give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10.)

'Preference' as defined by Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is

The act of preferring one thing before another; estimation of one thing above another.

While 'prefer' is:

To bear or carry in advance, in the mind, affections or choice; hence to regard more than another

These definitions really convicted and spoke to my heart . . . and they bring to mind another “one another” . . . “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3.)

Since doing this study, all of this has really been on my heart, and I am striving to practice what was learned . . . to learn and grow in each of these “one anothers” . . . to my family . . . friends . . . brothers and sisters in the Lord. It is a journey that is for certain! But even the tiniest of baby steps bring one closer to the journey’s goal . . . would you care to join me?

-Posted by Sarah