the weblog of Alan Knox

When “one another” means me

Posted by on Sep 11, 2009 in community, love, scripture, service | 2 comments

For me, it is often (almost always) more difficult to be on the receiving end of service than the giving end. A couple of years ago, I published a post called “When ‘one another’ means me” to offer examples of how others in the body of Christ had been “one another-ing” me. Instead of denying people an opportunity to serve me, I should accept their service and praise God for what He is doing in their lives and in my life.

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When “one another” means me

I’ve written before about how every follower of Jesus Christ (including me) is responsible for carrying out the “one anothers” of Scripture. But, that is not the point of this blog post. I’ve also written previously about how our family tries to live daily in community with other brothers and sisters in Christ (see especially “Church meetings” and “A Week in the Life of the Church“). But, in this post, I want to highlight something a little different.

On Monday, in a comment to my post “The unhypocritical church – Part 3“, David said this concerning living in community: “But this kind of life doesn’t get much press time. I mean, who wants to read about someone living that kind of life? No glamour.” I understand exactly what David means. But, Paul recognized this kind of life, and with gratitude toward God, he praised those who were living that way.

And, in this post, I hope to do exactly the same thing. There are many people that I know who are taking the “one anothers” of Scripture seriously. In the last few days, many of these people have impacted my life and the life of my family. So, I want to take this time to thank God for these precious brothers and sisters.

1. Serve one another (Gal 5:13; 1 Pet 4:10)
Our van is having problems. One of our dear friends took our van to his house and is working on it – at his own expense. He will not even allow us to pay for the parts.

2. Be kind to one another (Eph 4:32)
This week, some friends showed up at our house unexpectedly with breakfast for our family.

3. Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11; Heb 3:13)
A brother spoke very encouraging words to me during a time that could have greatly discouraged me.

4. Teaching and admonishing one another (Rom 15:14; Col 3:16)
At a time when we were focusing on distractions, a brother taught and admonished us that it was actually our sin that was hindering our relationship with God.

5. Care for one another (1 Cor 12:25; 2 Cor 13:11)
While our vehicle is being repaired, another family has graciously allowed us to use one of their vehicles.

6. Bear with one another (Eph 4:2; Col 3:13)
When I became defensive (or offensive) toward a brother, he patiently allowed me my rant, then did not hold it against me.

7. Love one another (John 13:34-35, 15:12, 15:17; Rom 12:10, 13:8; 1 Thess 3:12, 4:9; 1 Pet 1:22, 4:8; 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11-12; 2 John 1:5)

Do you want to know how our brothers and sisters have demonstrated their love for God and their love for us? Look at #1-#6 above. This is just a sampling.

Love for God and love for others is real, tangible, giving, serving, costly. This is the love that the Spirit produces in the lives of his children. This is one of the evidences that we are children of God: “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:10-11 ESV)

These brothers and sisters continually demonstrate the evidence that they are children of God – that they are indwelled by the present and powerful Holy Spirit – that they are submitting to his will in their lives. They are not doing this so that they will get recognition or credit. In fact, they will be embarrassed when they read this and recognize themselves in my words. They do these things because the love of God compels them. They do these things because God is more than a theological idea – He is a real, living, active, powerful, and ever present Father in their lives. It is evident that they are children of God because they practice righteousness and love their brothers and sisters.

I praise God for the way that He has loved me through these dear brothers and sisters.

Would you like to praise God for the brothers and sisters that he is using in your life?

Is there evidence in your life to indicate that you are a child of God?


2 Comments

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  1. 9-11-2009

    For me, it is much easier to serve than to be served very often, if your character is to be a giver and not a taker.

    We have found that enabling others to serve us makes us vulnerable (in admitting we don’t have it all together) but also reduces or removes barriers. It is very comfortable to be the one praying for others, but hard to say “I have a need, please pray for me” when you’re a leader. It is hard to admit we have a problem with someone and need help to be reconciled – much easier to say “of course I’m OK”. So much easier to fix someone’s car/PC/heating than let on “I don’t know how this works”. People who are allowed to serve us also then seem to feel much more able to be open and confident to share the issues in their hearts. Not quite what you were asking for at the end of your post, but maybe food for thought.

    I am very thankful for those that have been praying for me through what has been a particularly difficult time, as well as those that prayed and loved us through the hard times we had in the past.

  2. 9-11-2009

    Toni,

    Yes, it is much easier for me to serve than to be served. I’m trying to remember (like Paul said in Philippians 4) to allow people to serve me for their benefit, not for my own benefit.

    -Alan