Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #3 Preferring One Another (Romans 12:10)
Romans 12:10, Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
A. Honor One Another Above Yourself.
Romans 12:10 expresses the admiration between the saints and the healthy relationship between believers. "Preferring one another" means treating others above yourselves. True love recognizes and honors all believers. It is no respecter of persons. The idea is that we are to allow others to be first. We are to yield the right-of-way. This is true humility. We are not to seek honor for ourselves, but rather genuinely rejoice when others receive honor even when we don’t. The believer is to take the lead in esteeming and expressing respect for others. A church full of believers with each of us esteeming and honoring the other (Philippians 2:1-4).
B. Acknowledge the Good Qualities in Other Christians.
To give others the recognition. Most people are willing to accept praise rather than deflecting it to others. It should be our desire that others receive the honor instead of ourselves. Honor is not wrong, and is often a blessing from the Lord, but it should be our desire that others receive it. Any credit we receive is due to others who have invested in and influenced our lives. Primarily, all honor should go to God. Secondarily, we should prefer honor go to parents, pastors, teachers, friends, colleagues, and other Christians. We would not be where we are if it had not been for others. In honor, we are to be preferring one another. "In honor" means "in reverence, regard, or respect." The word "preferring" means "to go before and lead." Leaders are to lead with reverence and respect those people they lead. We are not to bash them, belittle them or baby them.
C. To Show Genuine Appreciation and Admiration for Others.
To honor does not mean to flatter, to give hypocritical praise in hope of having the compliment returned or of gaining favor with the one honored. Again, the very opposite is in mind. To honor is to show genuine appreciation and admiration for one another in the family of God. We are to show respect, to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, to demonstrate genuine love, not being jealous or envious, which have no part in love. We do this by giving compliments. This means acknowledging the accomplishments of others rather than our own. This will make each day so much more enjoyable when we focus on the good in people rather than the bad.
D. Honor in Action.
To treat one another as valuable and precious. A healthy church is made up of members who have a mutual respect for one another. They submit to one another and take pleasure in the advancement, promotion, and increase of other members. If we are truly "devoted to one another in brotherly love", it almost goes without saying that we will give preference to one another in honor. The virtue here is humility, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. Romans 12:3, For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Preferring one another in honor cannot be demonstrated by anyone who thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think. It cannot be practiced by anyone who does not know how to love people unconditionally and selflessly. Consider all your brethren as more worthy than yourself.
The idea is that we are to be unselfish and considerate toward them. Allow me to illustrate the truth "in honor preferring one another" by telling of two men who grew up as best friends: Jim was just a little older than Phillip and often assumed the role of leader. They did everything together. They even went to high school and college together. After college they decided to join the Marines. They were sent to Germany together where they fought side by side in one of history's ugliest wars. During an intense battle, heavy gunfire, bombing, and close-quarters combat, they were given the command to retreat. As the men were running back, Jim noticed that Phillip had not returned with the others. Panic gripped his heart. Jim knew if Phillip was not back in another minute or two, then he wouldn't make it. Jim begged his C/O to let him go after his friend, but the officer forbade the request, saying it would be suicide. Risking his own life, Jim disobeyed and went after Phillip. His heart pounding, he ran into the gunfire, calling out for Phillip. A short time later, his platoon saw him hobbling across the field carrying a limp body in his arms. Jim's commanding officer upbraided him, shouting that it was a foolish waste of time and an outrageous risk. "Your friend is dead," he added, "and there was nothing you could do." "No sir, you're wrong," Jim replied. "I got there just in time. Before he died, his last words were 'I knew you would come.'" Love for the brethren is a proof of spiritual life (I John 3:14) but demonstrating kindly affectioned to the brethren is a rare grace. The world's morality says, “Take care of self.” Paul teaches the reverse.
The acrostic for “JOY” is still true.
Question to Consider:
Can people depend upon us if we are needed or are you selfish or unconcerned about others?
Point to Ponder:
If so, you need an attitude adjustment.
PRAYER: Lord, fill my heart with love and help me to love as abundantly as You love me. Help me to be committed to the comfort of other believers. In Jesus Name, AMEN!
Thank you for reading Biblical Building Block #3 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Biblical Building Block #4.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.