“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:10-13).
The Christian walk is designed in such a way that you cannot afford to be self centered. We are instructed to be kindly affectioned one to another…The Easy English translation puts it this way “Love each other like brothers and sisters who belong to the same family. Each of you should think about the other Christians as more important than you yourself are” (Rom 12:10 E.E.).
We ought to love each other because we belong to the same family. We are Adelphos! We emerged from the same womb. And then, in honour we prefer one another. The Greek word for “preferring” is “proegeomai”. It means; “ to lead the way for others to follow” We are called to lead one another through godly example. What godly examples was the writer talking about? The next verse says “not slothful in business, fervent in the spirit, serving the Lord” This implies that those who will help others get better must be vigilant and alert themselves. You see, spiritual apathy or lethargy does not start at once, it’s a gradual process. Hence, we all must be alert, we must never be caught napping. You must be red hot in your service to Jesus. One of the ways you help others is by making sure you are in shape spiritually. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16). Pay attention to your spiritual growth and as you do there will be a yearning in your heart to see to it that others don’t miss out on the spiritual development you are experiencing.
Let’s look at 2 instances where we can help one another.
Believers who are being persecuted:
When Paul was stoned in Lystra, the bible says the believers surrounded him. They provided the necessary support needed for him to recover (Acts. 14:19-20). We ought to be there for those who are being persecuted just like these believers were there for Paul. At another time, a basket was used to carry him over the fence out of the city at night (Acts 9:25). Some believers are being persecuted by parents or relatives for standing for Jesus. Some are persecuted for preaching Jesus, all these can lead to discouragement. We have an obligation to such people to provide words of succor and financial or material assistance as the case maybe.
Believers in Acts of sins or wring doings:
What about those who are overtaken in a fault? They are heard to have been found in a sinful act or lifestyle e.g. maybe she got pregnant out of wedlock, or he is seen at a bar drinking beer or smoking, or caught in an act of a bad habit etc. Our goal is to restore such a person! We should look out for ways to help this brother or sister regain his/her confidence in the Father’s love. This is not the time for gossip or backbiting. This is not the time to play the “holier than thou” card. We are believers and we ought to be spiritual about our approach to issues like these. Hear what Apostle Paul said “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2) He helps us to see that those who are spiritual or mature in handling such matters are meant to address this. And such should be done in the spirit of meekness because none of us is infallible. We all are prone to temptations, we restore knowing full well that we are fulfilling the law of Christ which is a royal law of love (Jam. 2:8).These sin should not be mistaken for acts of rebellion or division against leadership.
However, when cases of rebellion and division against Leadership arise, we are told not to company with such people or else we are polluted with such attitude. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple”(Rom. 16:17-18). The bible, both the Old and New Testament books does not support any divisive action. The best way to help those who are rebellious against leadership or sowing seeds of discord among the brethren is to separate from them till they straighten up and you continue to pray for them.
It would be wrong for you to be emotional about a spiritual position like this.
To be continued…