Be Affectionate One to Another (Romans 12:10)
Romans 12:10, Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Two outlooks of love are addressed here.
• Regard for the saints. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love."
The words "kindly affectioned" indicate a family love for one another. Christians are members of one family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to love one another because we are brethren (I Thessalonians 4:9; I Peter 1:22). Believers are to love each other in a family way. Paul is saying that we should love one another as if we were related. Loving the saved is proof of salvation. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (I John 3:14). Loving the brethren also tells the world that we are Jesus' follower. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). Having just explained what real Biblical love is Paul calls on us to make application by honoring and preferring others. Jesus stressed the importance of brotherly love. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35). Brotherly love is one of the traits by which the world will know that we are Christians. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him (I John 5:1). Paul is telling us that our relationships in the Body of Christ should carry the authenticity of family. It represents two or more friends who love each other just as deeply as if they were members of the same family. We should indeed love each other as if we were genuinely blood brothers and sisters. In fact, our love for one another should be so profound that we hold one another in honor.
• Respect for the saints. "In honor preferring one another" (Romans 12:9).
"In honor" means "in reverence, deference, or respect." It means to treat someone or something as valuable and precious. To show genuine appreciation and admiration for others. We are to have a love for all brethren, regardless of their status of being either rich or poor, young or old, black or white. In honor, we are to be preferring one another.
The word "preferring" means "to go before and lead." This involves deferring or yielding to the other person. We are to yield the right-of-way. This is true humility. The idea is that we are to allow others to be first. It is letting the other guy be out front. Paul admonished the Philippians, Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). Preferring the spouse, friend, or family member you are with above yourself will not only please the Lord but will also improve your time together. Real love is putting others first. We understand that every human being is created in the image of God. Honoring another above ourselves means to listen to the other person, to be most aware of his or her hopes, joys, needs and fears, and to be considerate. We are created in the image and in the likeness of the Creator, but also Christ is in us. Paul is calling on Christians to outdo one another in bestowing honor to one another. Our proper treatment of other believers in love is linked to having a proper love for and worship of God. A love between friends that is authentic, sincere, tender, and warm. It gives the idea of an appreciation so great that you would prefer to see the person you love succeed even more than you want to see your own success. This means there is no room for jealousy or competition. You truly desire the very best for this person because you love him so deeply. It represents the attitude of a person who values a friend so highly that he deeply desires the very best to come to pass for his friend.
Praise God that has given you godly relationships. You are blessed with genuine friends who love you like family; who treat you like a brother (or sister); and who will walk with you for many years to come. Look for ways to grow closer and closer to the Lord and your family. As God has blessed you with dear friends, He is teaching you how to be a better friend to those who are near you.
Points to Ponder:
God did not create any relationship to benefit one person and not the other.
Choose today to put others above yourself.
Look for ways to bless them, and God will in turn bless you.
Questions to Consider:
1. Are some of your relationships so precious that you hold them to be as dear to you as family?
2. If so, have you taken the time to really express to them how much you love them?
3. What can you do to improve your skills to become a better friend?
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the incredible friendships You have placed in my life. I am blessed to have such loving, faithful, and true relationships. When I think of all the people who live such lonely lives, it makes me want to stop and express my gratefulness to You for placing such precious people in my life. Lord, I also ask You to please help me see those who need to be loved so I can include them as a part of my life. I want to give to others the love and support that I have received. Holy Spirit, help me to start doing this today. In Jesus name Amen.
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