Christians have a hard time figuring out how to live out their faith in a faithless or faith-neuter world. We, like everyone else here, have our preferences regarding food, cars, jobs, schools, friends, apps, and even the wisdom that we choose to let guide our lives. I like pizza, but probably shouldn’t eat it for every meal for every day…that would not be healthy. As Christ followers, we have a guidebook for healthy living called the New Testament (NT). This is the back 1/3 of most of our Bibles and gives the Holy Scriptures pertaining to Jesus Christ. (obviously there are a ton of prophetic verses about Christ in the Old Testament, but that’s for a different discussion.)
How do we prioritize even just using the NT as our guidebook?
Jesus’s simplification of the Old Testament (OT) into 2 commandments (Love God & Love your neighbor – Matthew 22:37-39) is super helpful, but not specific. Below is a list of ways that I believe the NT gives us to live out the 2nd part of Christ’s words. These provide practical instruction for how to work out loving our neighbors, but in case you forget, it all comes back to the heart of why… Christ loves us, so we are to love him and love each other. I call them the “One-Anothers.”
John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
1 John 3:11 – For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12 – No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
2 John 5 – And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.
1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
3 stir or spur towards loves & good works
Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
4 instruct/ teach/ admonish
Romans 15:14 – I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
5 bear with
Ephesians 4:2 – with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love
Colossians 3:13 – bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
7 submit to
Ephesians 5:21 – submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
8 encourage/ don’t judge, hinder, speak evil, provoke, or envy
Romans 14:13 – Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
Galatians 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
James 4:11 – Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Therefore encourage one another with these words. (regarding our heavenly homecoming)
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
2 Corinthians 13:11 – Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
11 confess & pray
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
12 do good
1 Thessalonians 5:15 – See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
13 be at peace (but still be salty)
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another
14 praise for loving well
2 Thessalonians 1:3 – We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
Which of these “one anothers” are easiest for you or are your preferred way to love?
Which of these “one anothers” are most difficult?
We can’t eat pizza all the time, we need a balanced approach to food and to loving others.
Do something about it…
- Write down and idea or two about how to practice each of the 14 one-anothers.
- Pick 3 that you are actually going to DO this week and plan
- Share with someone (spouse, friend, or other) how the practicing went.