Kerrville Daily Times and Community Journal
“This week, we are going to start a study on the “one anothers” found in the Bible,” the pastor said. “I really feel there are things God wants to show us in how to relate to one another,” he continued. At the time, my family was attending a small church of no more than 50 people. We were a diverse group of individuals, much like a family and all had a strong desire for more of God.
Months later, George was still preaching the “one anothers” to us. Every week we learned another lesson on how to interrelate, love, forgive and treat one another. The lessons we learned in that season, became a foundation that I will never forget and greatly impacted my life. I recently came across several of the “one another” scriptures and it made me think and dive into the subject of one anothers again.
Romans 12:10 states, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV) When I read this passage, it made me stop and take inventory of how loyal and committed I was to those around me. As Christians, we are called to show others real commitment. Jesus is always kind and devoted to us, therefore, we need to be to one another. Many in our society walk away from relationships, jobs, churches, etc. when things get tough or we get hurt. I have been tempted at times, when things get difficult or I have been hurt to simply walk away, but loving others, regardless of how they treat us, is like a good workout- it makes us stronger in character. I have a statement that I personally live by. It is, “I am what I love, not what loves me.” Loving and being devoted to those around us develops character in us.
What about honoring others above ourselves? We live in a pretty self centered society and it is much easier to be consumed with our problems, our accomplishments, our family and jobs instead of those around us. I know I have been self centered in my life and haven’t displayed honor for others above myself but I am working on correcting that in my life. I love how The Message Bible translates the Romans 12passage. It says, “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” Let others take the leading role or help them come into that role. When we genuinely love, we even step down to let others shine.
Romans 12:16 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.” (NIV) Living with others in our work environment and our personal lives in a way that is good for all concerned is living in harmony. Too many times, I think we make decisions that are good for us personally instead of what is good for all concerned. When we do that, we often hurt those around us. Each of us is important to God and taking time to value what each person brings to the table is so important. It does not matter if your job is cleaning the bathrooms or you are an executive, each job is vital to the success of the work place. Live in a way that lifts others up around you, that’s living in harmony.
There have been times in my life I have lost respect for someone. When people wound us, make crazy choices that cost us, aren’t fair, or let us down, it is easy to loose respect. The Bible states several times that we are to respect one another. We must at least respect them as someone God created and loves and their position. God never asked us to do something that we cannot do without supplying for us what we need. He is a good father. At times, I have had to asked God to change my heart and help me to respect someone. Ephesians 5:21 gives us a reason to treat one another with respect, simply because we respect God. “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. (MSG) Out of respect for Christ and because He said so, we should be respectful to those around us. Being courteous means being polite and kind. When we look hard enough, we can find something to respect others for and we can focus on that aspect in their lives, simply because He said so.
Years ago, my late husband made a choice that cost me dearly. I remember having a conversation with God that went something like this. “God, you said in your word for wives to respect their husbands. I need your help to respect him like you want me to.” As I consistently confessed my inadequacy and need for God’s help, he began to change my heart. Before I knew it, I had a deep admiration for the man I loved.
God has much to say about how we treat one another because he has designed us to be a family to those around us. He is committed to helping us love, honor, respect and be kind to one another, in every situation, when we call on Him.
Learning the one anothers greatly impacted my life and my prayer is that they will impact yours. The small church that taught me the one anothers, has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings but those of us that were there in the beginning still talk about how grateful we are for the months of learning the one anothers. Will you join me in learning and living out what Jesus says about how we are to relate to one another? (to be continued)
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. She can be heard on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on The REV FM, 94.3. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com