There are 59 “One Anothers” in the New Testament, exhortations to love, greet, encourage, instruct, teach, be kind and be devoted to one another. We are to be at peace with one another, to carry one another burdens, to forgive one another, to serve one another, to honor one another and to pray for one another. We are not to grumble against one another, but to live in harmony with one another.
These “one anothers” all refer to how we are to relate within the church, living as a church body. They are not about family relationships, romantic relationships or friendships, but are an encouragement for the body to be a unified, loving interactive, thriving community. This vitally important relational glue provides the connective tissue of the body, holding us together and building us up in Christ.
So how do we perform these vital functions within the physically dispersed church of our times? When the church met daily in Acts, the “one anothers” were a natural part of the daily interactions, now with only weekly gatherings for worship and Bible studies, these activities happen less frequently. We can contemporize this list to include texting one another, calling one another, emailing one another and even mailing one another words of encouragement. Cooking for one another and visits with one another are other means.
Reach out and bless one another through these, and if you have been blessed by another, do likewise. Be contagious in your love for one another!
Philippians 2:1-4: Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Ken Ocheltree, Elder