Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:10-13
There are 59 “one anothers” in the New Testament. Evidently, the early church needed lots of instruction about maintaining good relationships. It seems we still require help getting along with each other.
When our kids were little and there was a tussle brewing between two of them, I would have them stand on opposite ends of the living room and recite Ephesians 4:32 while looking at each other. (“We will be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave us.”) There was usually some rolling of the eyes and resistance, but I held firm. After the verse was quoted, I instructed them to take one large step toward each other and say it again. This would be repeated until the two squabblers were nose to nose. Then I would make them end in a hug. It is very hard for two children to stand nose to nose without breaking into giggles. I knew it was an effective method when I overheard one say, “We’d better quit arguing or mom will make us do that thing.”
Living a life of faith would be much easier if we didn’t have to deal with people! But from the beginning, the church was created to be a community representing the very body of Christ in the world. To be effective, we need to get along. We need to be devoted to each other, honor one another, share with each other, have people over for dinner. It takes practice. Let’s get to it.
Lord, thank You for my place here in the body of Christ. Help me to do my part in the life of the church. Forgive me for isolating when I should be investing in relationships with my brothers and sisters.