The title of this post is my translation of the first part of Romans 1:12, which the ESV translates, “…[T]hat we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith…” [I’m not sure why they decided to leave out the prepositional phrase “among/in you (plural).”]
I was reminded of this verse – part of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome – when I read a post by Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” called “Willing to be One Anothered.” In this short post, Eric exhorts us toward mutual service (that service to and from one another).
I’m not going to quote much of his post, because it is fairly short. (So, make sure you jump over to his site and read the whole post.) Here is a short excerpt:
In talking about the one anothers, most of the focus usually falls on what we should do for others. I suppose this makes sense. However, we also need to realize that we must allow others to do for us. The one anothering is a two way street…
There is a sort of reciprocal nature to all this. We all grow up together in Christ as we serve one another. We help others grow by one anothering together. This involves both giving and receiving. If we only focus on the giving, we end up inadvertently hurting both ourselves and others.
I can’t speak to other parts of the world, but I know in this area being helped by others is frowned upon. But, among the church, we must be willing to both serve others and to be served by others. Christ matures his church as we work together to help one another.
Sometimes it’s harder for me to receive from others than to give to others. But, like Eric says, both are necessary parts of God growing and maturing his people.
Would you be willing to share a time when God worked through one of his children to “give” to you?