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Religion

How We Treat One Another

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted June 25, 2014

RELIGION – I was preaching this past Sunday on the book of Obadiah.  Probably everyone’s favorite book! This little book deals with the nation of Edom (Israel’s neighbors and descendants from Esau, Jacob’s brother) gloating and heaping abuse on God’s people when they were conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Edomites were awful! They would catch God’s people as they ran away for their lives, rob them blind and carry them back to the Babylonians. They rejoiced at the down fall of their neighbor.

One of the most disturbing things that I see in our Nation and in our Town is a perverse joy at watching the downfall of another person. It is disturbing how people love to pile on and kick someone when they are down. The bad news of someone’s life becomes cause for elation in our own. This is awful stuff! Proverbs 24:17-18 says clearly “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,  (18)  lest the LORD see it and be displeased…” God himself makes clear in the book of Ezekiel in 33:11 that  “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” Jesus goes even further and adds in Matthew 5:44that you should “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

Then Jesus adds later in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:1-5 that we should  "Judge not, that you be not judged.  (2)  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  (3)  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  (4)  Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?  (5) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”

The practical outworking is that if you are kind and gracious to people when they fall and stumble odds are that they will show the same in return to you. On the other hand, if you kick and hurl abuse at people when they are down, they will in turn pounce on you when you fall.  I am not saying from this verse that we can’t acknowledge the wrong someone may do. Just simply that we must be willing to look at our own faults before we scrutinize others. 

So instead of all this relational nastiness that poisons communities, work places and churches, let’s look at what the New Testament says about how we are to treat one another. This list of the 59 “One Anothers” of the New Testament is taken from Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131. Give them an honest read and note any themes or any verses that stand out to you.

1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)
8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)
16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.”
(Galatians 5:15)
22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)
39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)

What a difference practicing this would make in the collective joy our community! Why are we content with some much relational toxicity in our lives? I am so thankful for the grace of Jesus that forgives me and gives me the grace that I need to be able to show it to others.

Proverbs 24:16 “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again”

Pastor Phillip






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