Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"One Another"

Our family has been studying various scriptural topics together, and one area that we looked at recently was the “one another” verses of Scripture and especially how they relate within the family unit, and then also to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Having read the Bible many times (and some passages/books a great many times), I thought I was fairly familiar with the instruction given for how we are to specifically treat one another . . . love one another, encourage one another, and things along those lines.

I was amazed, though, to discover just how many specific commands are given! And how far reaching those commands are. As I looked through the long list that Dad had compiled and studied the verses therein, I found my heart humbled and convicted . . . how far short I was falling in so many areas of where the Lord has called me to be!

As our family then gathered together and discussed among ourselves the different things that we learned and which particular areas spoke to our hearts, the thought came to mind that these “one another” verses would be an excellent blog post. Perhaps you have already studied these, perhaps you have never even heard of them, or perhaps you are like me and had known in part, but had not fully realized the broad scope and the great depth that a true one another love encompasses. I do hope that whichever one you are, that what is shared here will be a blessing and encouragement to you . . . and remember, these are not simply suggestions, but are commands from God to those of us who are His children . . .

~ Love one another
(John 13:34, 13:35, 15:12, 15:17; Romans 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11, 4:12; 2 John 1:5)

~ Increase and abound in love toward one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

~ Fervently love one another (1 Peter 1:22, 4:8)

~ Keep fervent in your love for one another (1 Peter 4:8)

~ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Romans 12:10)

~ Be of the same mind toward one another (Romans 12:16)

~ Give preference to one another in honor (Romans 12:10)

~ Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

~ Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

~ Admonish one another (Romans 15:14)

~ Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)

~ Serve one another (through love) (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10)

~ Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2)

~ Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

~ Be tender-hearted to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

~ Be forgiving of one another (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13)

~ Show tolerance for one another with humility, gentleness, and patience and in love (Ephesians 4:2)

~ Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:21)

~ Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)

~ Regard one another as more important than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)

~ Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)

~ Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

~ Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:25)

~ Live in peace with one another (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

~ Seek after that which is good for one another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

~ Confess sins to one another (James 5:16)

~ Pray for one another (James 5:16)

~ Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9)

~ Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5)

~ Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)

And then the “do nots”

~ Do not judge one another (
Romans 14:13; though this does not negate the need for discernment and righteous judgment – context on this verse is important!)

~ Do not challenge one another (Galatians 5:26)

~ Do not envy one another (Galatians 5:26)

~ Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9)

~ Do not repay evil for evil to another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

~ Do not hate one another (Titus 3:3)

~ Do not speak against one another (James 4:11)

~ Do not complain against one another (James 5:9)

How convicting this list is! And I found it especially interesting how many times “love one another” is mentioned (at least 16 times); and also how few “do nots” there are compared to the “dos”. It is much easier to simply refrain from doing something (though it still can be quite difficult!), but it takes much more effort, commitment, forethought, and perseverance to actively do those things that God has commanded us.

One particular “one another” especially convicted my heart, and it led to a bit further investigation on my part as to what it means . . . “give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10.)

'Preference' as defined by Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is

The act of preferring one thing before another; estimation of one thing above another.

While 'prefer' is:

To bear or carry in advance, in the mind, affections or choice; hence to regard more than another

These definitions really convicted and spoke to my heart . . . and they bring to mind another “one another” . . . “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3.)

Since doing this study, all of this has really been on my heart, and I am striving to practice what was learned. To learn and grow in each of these “one anothers” . . . to my family . . . friends . . . brothers and sisters in the Lord. It is a journey that is for certain! But even the tiniest of baby steps bring one closer to the journey’s goal . . . would you care to join me?


  1. What a beautiful post Sarah. Reading this post was a wonderful start to my day :)

  2. Sarah...what a wonderful list of verses! I am so thankful that you included them, so that we, too, can benefit from further study and reading.

    I must just point out, however, that the Gal. 4:23 verse should really be Gal. 4:32. It just happens to be a verse that our girls are memorizing this week for Bright Lights, so it jumped out at me. But of course, I kindly and compassionately forgive your small error!:-)

    I must also say that based on what your blog reveals about your heart, it is hard to imagine that you fall short in many of these areas, Sarah. You demonstrate such genuine love, respect, and honor in your approach to relationships with your family, and always show respect and deference to your readers. If anything, your sense of conviction also demonstrates that you have a humble, teachable heart, which is an excellent thing in a daughter of Christ.

    While we're on the subject of Bible studies, I'm curious to know more about how you read yours. You mentioned that you've read it many times--I'm assuming you mean all the way through. Is there a particular reading order or plan that you prefer? How often do you read, and how much at one time? Do you have a favorite time of day that you set aside to read the Bible?

    Thank you again, dear Sarah, for another lovely and edifying post!

    ~ Betsy

  3. Oh how I needed this reminder, Sarah! As I was all set to head out for my morning run, this post stopped me in my tracks as I read and took a moment to reflect on each of these. I am so glad you thought to share.

    These two verses spoke volumes to me:
    "Show tolerance for one another with humility, gentleness, and patience and in love (Ephesians 4:2)"
    "Do not complain against one
    another (James5:9)"

    I plan to bookmark and print this post for my prayer journal so I can regurally revisit when I need such a reminder.

  4. It is amazing how short I fall in this area! LIke you I thought I new the scripture. But it is amazing how the Lord can "enlighten" us through ONE ANOTHER! Thank you for sharing these. I will be printing them off to dig into so that I can make sure I am DOing and NOT doing what the Lord would have me.

  5. Sarah, that is fascinating. To look at the precepts in a different way can only increase our knowledge and commitment.
    It is easy to say 'Love one another' but to look at all the differing ways in which it is writen is amazing.
    Thank you.

  6. This is something I have really been trying to work on this year. I'm still trying to get down the 'do nots'! But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be working on the 'do's'. I need to look up that one about "Do not challenge one another"...Hmmm. Challenge in what way? Like when we challenge one another in competition? Having someone I'm competing with usually helps me to work harder. So yes, I want to see just what God meant by that!

  7. Thanks for sharing what you learned. I really need to apply this to my life. This blog touched my heart. Have a great day in the Lord. Dorinda

  8. Thanks for telling us the study you are doing with your family. Wow, that's a lot of 'one another' mentioned in the Bible. But I'm not surprised because God loves people and want us to love one another, etc. It was interested to read your notes. I haven't looked up the Bible verses yet but I definitely will someday when I come back to it. Right now I'm busy trying to get myself ready for Easter and concentrate on what Jesus did for me. So I'm reading the Lent devotions right now. I have other Bible readings/devotions plans too but didn't want that to get in the way or to lose my focus on Jesus & His cross.

  9. Thank you, Optimistic Existentialist. I am glad that it could be a blessing!

  10. Thank you, Betsy, for your kind comment! What an encouragement it was to read. I hope that these verses will be a blessing to you as you read and study them further.

    Thank you for pointing out the mistyped reference! (It was actually Ephesians 4:32. :) I am surprised that was the verse I mistyped as I have it memorized as well! I think I must have just typed too fast and put the second number before the first, and then I copied and pasted it to the other verses. Either way, it is corrected now. :) Thank you!

    Thank you also for your words of encouragement! . . . and oh, Betsy, I am far from where the Lord would have me be! I have struggles and failures on a regular basis, times that I neglect the teachings He has given, and so many things that I simply haven’t yet plunged the depths of how to apply them to my life (such as these 'one anothers'.) But praise the Lord that He is a Master Potter who keeps working with me, molding me, and helping me to grow in Him! I love the picture that Scripture gives of us being refined as gold is refined with the dross slowly being melted off. As I shared in this post, the walk of a follower of Christ is indeed a journey upward, and one that I will be on until the Lord calls me home.

    Yes, when saying that I have read the Bible many times, that would be all the way through (I think around 7 or 8 times now? Though I have read the New many more times than that.) My favorite time of day to read is the early morning right after I get up. I find that spending time with the Lord in His word and in prayer first thing has quite the effect on what my day will be like! It helps to bring my heart and the focus of my mind to where it needs to be and helps to prepare me spiritually for whatever the Lord will bring my way that day.

    My ‘method’ of reading the Bible (if it could be called a method!) is really simple. I am always reading through the Old and New Testament at the same time. Each day, I’ll usually read 4 to 6 chapters in the Old and 1 or 2 in the New. I prefer reading through the New at a much slower pace as each chapter is full of so much instruction and teaching. Though, there are many portions in the Old Testament that I read slowly through as well!

    How much I read each day, though, varies significantly. As I read, I really try to have my heart open to what the Lord would have me learn from the passage and to be sensitive to the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit . . . really trying to understand what is being said, to compare it to other passages, to apply it to myself, and more. Some days I might only get one chapter read as my pen is flying over my notebook paper writing down verses, taking notes, and delving into a verse or passage more deeply. And sometimes the concordances and dictionary come out as well. So again, it varies quite a bit!

    I also try to read a Psalm (or Proverb – it depends on which book I am in at the time) right before bed as well. I hope that this helps to answer your questions!

    You’re welcome for sharing, and thank you again for your kind and encouraging words!

  11. How your comment blessed me, Renee! It is so wonderful to hear how the Lord works in our lives to help us to mutually encourage one another. And I am so glad that what was shared here was able to be such a blessing to you!

    I pray that these verses will continue to be an encouragement to you as they have been to me. I have them printed out as well and refer back to them often which has been such a help!

    Thank you again, Renee, for sharing as it was a blessing to me!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your heart here, Monica! As I shared with Renee, what a blessing it is how believers in Christ can mutually encourage one another. The Lord works in marvelous ways! I pray that these verses will continue to be a blessing to you as you read and study them further and seek to apply them to your life.

  13. It does, indeed, Elizabeth. I love doing studies like this as it really opens up the Scriptures to much more depth. I wonder how many other treasure troves of wisdom there are in His Word that we have yet to even probe the depths of?! His Word is indeed living and active and no matter how many times we read it, there is always more to learn and apply.

    Yes, it is easy to say ‘love one another’, but like you shared, looking at the different ways to do so is incredibly eye opening and convicting!

  14. Thank you for sharing, Becky! I really appreciated reading what you had to share. And I know what you mean about still trying to get down the ‘do nots’! I need to keep working on those in my life as well.

    That is an interesting thought about “do not challenge one another”. This verse is one that made me stop and think as well. One thing that came to my mind is perhaps this is more relating to challenging one another as in being argumentative? (i.e. someone says something and you challenge it, disagree with it, etc.) I would be really interested in hearing your findings about what this verse means! And I’ll have to take a deeper look at it as well. :) Thank you for your example/encouragement to do so!

  15. You’re welcome, Dorinda! I am so glad that it was a blessing to you. May you have a blessed day in the Lord as well!

  16. You’re welcome, Leah! I am glad that it could be a blessing. God is indeed a God of love (in fact, He is love), and He desires us to follow His example. These passages really helped to open up and plunge deeper into what true godly love is!

    How wonderful that you are studying and focusing upon Jesus and what He did on the cross. It is so amazing, and incredibly humbling, to think of all that He did for us! All that He did to redeem poor wretched sinners who so desperately needed a Savior. What a loving Redeemer He is!

  17. Thank you for this! I really needed this today and am going to do this with our family! God Bless!

  18. You're welcome, Emily! I am so glad that it was a blessing to you, and I hope that it will be to your family as well.

  19. What a beautiful post, Sarah! And it is so helpful to have all these verses together, comparing and contrasting them. I think it would really be helpful to teach all of these to my children and learn them together. Thanks for the inspiration! ♥Joy

  20. Thank you, Joy. I am glad that it was a blessing! And I hope that they will be to your children as well if/when you have the opportunity to study and learn them together. They have certainly been a help to me!

  21. AnonymousJuly 22, 2016

    "Come unto Me all who are weary & heavy laden & I will give you rest.....", is the Scripture verse that first came to mind as i read through your 'About me' profile. Then the LORD spoke to my heart and said that you, Sarah, were just living life with a full overflowing cup as you (me, Richard) do. Congrats, for this is one of the reasons that the Lord of Sabbath rest has given us each morning filled with mercies for a new day with Him. I am 70 years young & have been saved since one of the first Billy Graham crusade back in the mid '50s & after trying to live a time clock Christian life until my early 40s i started LIVING according to HIS righteous way/s of grace abundant & free in CHRIST Jesus & have never looked back ><> in TRUTH life in HIM who calls us 'friend' is exciting & full when we allow Him to live His thru us. I heard a sermon many years ago that spoke of the Christian life as being lived on a cruise ship. Some of US are in the front of the ship chucking up & others are on the back of the same ship have a grand time 'partying'.
    In all seriousness i pray that our Lord, the same One who created us will continue to remind you of His love for you ><> as you abide in Him & His love.

    In HIS eternal presence because of HIS grace/s,
    Brother Richard


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)