It doesn’t take much effort to hear of all the turmoil going on in our nation and around the world. It’s quite frightening at times to think about where this all might end up. But if we’re honest with one another, we really shouldn’t be surprised. Conflict between people has existed since Cain and Abel – and it’s not getting any better.
That is probably why God gave us so many instructions in how to get along with one another in the Bible.
Did you know that the phrase “one another” is used 100 times in the New Testament alone? Did you know that nearly half of those are given to those who call themselves Christ followers and over half are written by the apostle Paul? About one third of them deal with unity; another one third deal with love; and a good balance of the rest deal with humility.
So what are some of these great reminders of how to treat one another?
Love one another (John 13:34, others)
Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
Forgive one another (Colossians 3:13)
Don’t complain against one another (James 4:11)
Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50)
Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
Regard one another as more important than yourself (Philippians 2:3)
Don’t judge one another (Romans 14:13)
Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Pray for one another (James 5:16)
Can you imagine – just for a moment – what the world would be like if we could just do these simple ten things… TEN… that’s just ten percent of the total number of “one anothers” in the New Testament. If we just did ten percent of what we’re asked… think about how different the world would be – think about how the headlines might read differently.
But words alone cannot change people; action is required. James, the half-brother of Jesus, says this: “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror… and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25, ESV
So if you want to change the world… if you want to see more good and less bad in the world… if you want to make a difference… then start with the person in the mirror and do the “one anothers”.