An Army Chaplain tells the story of sitting in the Officer’s Club one rainy day. In fact, it was more than rainy. It was a raging storm. The winds were blowing fiercely. The rains were descending in sheets. Nearby, two officer’s wives were watching the storm through the big picture window.
Suddenly, through a flash of lightening, one of the women saw a solider standing outside on guard duty totally at the mercy of the ferocious elements. “Oh dear”, she said, “Look at the poor solider out there in the storm.” The other woman caustically replied, “My dear, it’s perfectly alright. He’s only a private.”
Some people view others in this world with the “he’s only” attitude. “He’s only a student.” “She’s only a housewife.” “He’s only janitor.” “She’s only a clerk.” They are only a _______” It is an attitude that views one’s self as superior, and others as less important. Less valuable.
The Bible speaks of our relationship in the Body of Christ as being “members of one another (Rom 12:5). We belong to the same Body. We have the same Head. We share a common membership. All are important. All are beneficial. All add value. There is not to be “he’s only a private” attitude. But that we are all soldiers marching together under the banner of our Commander in Chief.
Our commonality in Christ builds community. Companionship. And comradeship. The many passages in the New Testament that include the phrase “one another” speak to the means, manner and method of building up the Christian community. Consider a few of them.
Because of this special bond that binds us together, we should “be kindly affectionate to one another” (Rom. 12:16), ““by love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13), and “be kind one to another” (Eph. 4:32).
This attitude of heart leads us to “receive one another’ (Rom. 12:5), “consider one another”” (Heb. 10:24), and “Be likeminded one toward another (Roim 15:5) and extend “hospitality one to another (I Pet. 4:9).
Because “we love one another” (I Jn. 3:11), we “do not judge one another” (Rom. 14:13). We “lie not one to another” (Col 3:9). We “speak not evil one of another” (Jas 4:11).
We “do not grumble against one another” (Jas 5:9). We are not guilty of “provoking one another” and certainly “do not envy one another” (Gal. 5:26). As a result, “we do not bite and devour one another” (Gal. 5:15).
This “one another” mind set leads us to a high level of living. We “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” Rom 14:19). We “submit to one another” (Eph 5:21). We “comfort one another” (1 Thess. 4:18), “bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2) and “have the same care for one another” (1 Cor 12:25) regardless of their function in the Body. We even “esteem others better than ourselves” (Phil 2:3-4).
In order that we might help each other grow we “admonish one another” (Rom 15:14), “exhort one another” (Heb. 3:13), “teach one another (Col. 3:16).
In short, those who walk the one another way, walk with the Lord and “love one another” (Jn 13:34).
Whew! I sure have a lot of work to do to be a “one another” brother! But it’s worth it!
By the way, there is room on the “one another road”, come and join us!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman