Family = One-Another-ing
by Pr. Dave Mann
I have a quilt on my office wall depicting the “one another” passages that appear in the New Testament. Pam made it for me as an endearing gift for one of our anniversaries. The skill and heart of this gift greet me each day as I start my day. The practice of “one-another-ing” is at the center of building Christian community, i.e., Christian family. With Christ as our model who first loved us, we will have the strength and motivation to love each other.
In today’s passage, we encounter:
Have “the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ had.” (v. 5)
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you.” (v. 7)
And there are other verses that have the same idea of “one-another-ing” but with different words.
"to bear with the failings of the weak” (v. 1)
“Each of us should please our neighbors.” (v. 2)
Depending on how you count duplicate occurrences of the same exhortation, there are approximately 59 times you can read “one another” or “each other” in the New Testament. Here are some of the other verbs working in partnership with “one another.” Several of these outright appearances of “one another” are echoed in today’s verses by other words.
Be devoted to one another
Honor one another
Live in harmony with one another
Build up one another
Care for one another
Serve one another
Forgive one another
Be patient with one another
Speak the truth to one another
Be kind and compassionate toward one another
Submit to one another
Look to the interests of one another
Bear with one another
Teach one another
Comfort one another
Encourage one another
Stir up one another to love and good deeds
Show hospitality to one another
Pray for one another
Confess your faults to one another
Click here for a full list.
Trying to live up to this list of moral admonitions is daunting. My prayer is that Christ would dwell in my heart so that His love and His grace would empower my will to live in a Christ-like manner. May the attitude of Jesus Christ take root and exude through me, looking out for the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-4).
Father God, as I read through the one-another passages again, I feel like I am looking at a portrait of Jesus. Your Word says that one day, we will be like Him. I feel so far from that goal today. But I know that your Word is true, and it will not return void. I look forward to it becoming real in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.