Be Kind To One Another
By Steph Nickel
What does the Bible say about how we should treat each other? Ephesians 4:32 says to “be kind to one another”, but that’s not the only passage that speaks about how we should interact!
Be Kind To One Another
Ephesians 4:32 is just one of the one “anothers” in Scripture. It says, we are to
“be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Last time we talked about who we are in Christ. What the Bible says about believers in Jesus is true from God’s perspective even though we sometimes don’t live up to these truths. That said, these truths should be more and more evident in a Christian’s life as time goes by.
So, if these things are true of us, they are true of other believers as well. If we seek to see our Christian brothers and sisters as God sees them, we will likely treat them differently. We will become less reactionary. And who knows just how big a difference this could make in their lives?
My husband encountered this mindset when he was growing up. A very wise teacher once said if you expect poor behaviour of another, they will most often live down to your expectations. It stands to reason the opposite is true as well.
Seeing Others From God’s Perspective
If we begin to see others from God’s perspective, it will make it easier to understand why we are to fulfill the” one anothers” the Lord includes in the Bible.
Let’s consider some of them today:
Be At Peace With One Another
In Mark 9:50, we are instructed to “be at peace with one another.” That, of course, can be a challenge, but God will give us the wherewithal to do our part. Whether they’re believers or not, as long as we can do so without compromising God’s Word, we must do our part to live at peace with others.
Wash One Another’s Feet
John 13:14 says we are to follow Jesus’ example and wash one another’s feet, a very humbling task, one that, in Bible times, was assigned to the lowest household servant. Some churches have foot-washing ceremonies and these can be very powerful. But whether we literally wash one another’s feet or not, we must be willing to serve others, to do what would be considered a menial task, one that, humanly speaking, we may feel is beneath us. Just think . . . that would speak volumes to unbelievers who are watching our example.
Love One Another
It stands to reason that in John 13:34 the Lord goes on to say we are to love one another as He loved us. After all, He humbled Himself in the most profound way possible. He left heaven, became a man, lived a holy life, and then became sin for us. Only because of this—and the fact that He rose from the dead—can we hope to love as He did.
And remember He did all of that for us while we were still sinners as we read in Romans 5:8. It stands to reason that we should express love for others whether they’re fellow Christians or not.
Outdo One Another In Showing Honour
Romans 12:10 is one of my favourite verses and continues in the same vein. It says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” What a powerful verse! I’ve said it before, but can you imagine what our homes would be like if each of us tried to outdo the others by showing honour? How incredible would that be?
And why not try to outdo one another? First Corinthians 12:24-26 gives us lots to think about. It says, “God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
This portion of scripture reminds us that all Christians are members of one body, the body of Christ. It also teaches us that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than other believers, whether they’re members of our human family or not. In fact, we are to show special care to those we may see as weaker for whatever reason. If we would only remember verse 26! Truly, when another suffers, we all suffer. And when another is honoured, we are to rejoice with them.
Emphatize With Others
This should give us new understanding of Romans 12:15 that instructs us to empathize with others, to both weep and rejoice with them.
And by extension, think what an impact we could make if we reached out in love to those who are hurting, to those labeled weaker and less valuable, to those going through dark times. I have often referred to how the Lord Jesus reached out to the outcasts. Many of them recognized and responded to His love and He held them up as a good example. Are we willing to reach out as well?
Don’t Pass Judgement On One Another
Romans 14:13 says, “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.”
If we all lived according to that verse, think how different things would be!
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