Friday, April 20, 2012

Willing to be One Anothered

The multiple "one another" commands that we see throughout the pages of the New Testament provide for us a picture of body life. We do for others, and they do for us. We treat others in a certain manner, and they treat us the same. We care for others, and they care for us.

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.

I'm not suggesting that we treat others well because they treat us well. We carry out the one anothers out of joyful obedience to Christ. However, we also need to be willing to accept one anothering from our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we accept their one anothering of us, we do them a service. It provides them with the opportunity to joyfully obey Christ.

These 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.

One anothering is critical to the life of the church. We all need to be involved in it. When we share with each other in this way, God is honored and we all grow closer to him.

For much more on one anothering, take a look at what Jon is writing about.


Steve Scott said...

"If we only focus on the giving..."

I call this "Chip 'n' Dale" Christianity. You know the two chipmonk cartoon characters who are out and about and a fox starts chasing them? They run to their hole and offer to let the other go first. Each argues with the other about the other needing to go first until the fox is too close to continue arguing.

Allowing others to help when they offer is a great way to grow Christ in them. Paul accepted monetary gifes from a few churches, not because he needed the money but because it benefited to their account. (I forget where the passage is.)

Tim A said...

I see the one another instructions as God's expanding on helping us learn Jesus instructions that we be one as He and the Father are one. Their unity,mutuality, and intimacy must be amazing. Likewise, relationships are to grow in those dynamics. The great diversity in the one another instructions help us grow in this way - all leading to greater unity - not just the human substitute known as institutional uniformity - everyone loyal to the top of the pyramid of authority - "your pastor".

It's no surprise the devil wants to divert believers from developing one another commitments. He has set up a system that leads the "leaders" of churches to almost never, sometimes never "set the example" in mutual, reciprocal relationships with believers. The clergy system shines in pedestalized platform expertise oriented behaviors and shoves to the corner all the one another dynamics.

Do you recall your days as a "hired pastor" where 95% of your "ministry" was devoted away from mutual, reciprocal dynamic?

Eric said...

Hi Steve and Tim,

Good thoughts. The one-anothering concept is interesting because many within the institutional model truly desire to embrace it. I hope it is occurring within small group settings. The problem, of course, is that the clergy system acts to squash much of this sort of reciprocity.

As for all of us, I suppose our responsibility is to live it out as much as we talk and write about it.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Eric for sharing my link, and for sharing your thoughts on one another, specifically allowing others to one another towards us. Great point. There is a tenancy in many of us to want to be in control and be the leader. But there isn't much room for pride if we are loving others as a servant would.

Now isn't there a verse about sharing one anothers blog posts. Oh, I like your recent Worship Service post, I'll go share that now. :)

Eric said...


Pride sure is a nasty thing. It's a danger if it keeps us from serving others or accepting service. We need to be willing to do both. Now if only that was easy.