In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another; not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer; contributing to the needs of the saints; given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13
We are called to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. This may mean that we have to cut back on some of the things we occupy our time with because walking alongside someone takes time. The enemy has convinced us we have to fill our schedules, and this removes the margin that we need to have time for others. You can not walk along side someone on social media. Walking happens side by side, time together, it is intentional. It is also not always convenient.
We are to be affectionate with one another. Most of us are comfortable with the hand shake and hug of greeting another person. We can be loving towards those that are similar to us. Affectionate also means being there in those moments where someone needs a tender hand to hold in the brokenness.
We are to give honor and preference. When we honor someone, we show a level of respect that is willing to put another in front of what we want. I see this often perverted to degrading of self, but that is not what honor is; humbling our self does not mean we let others walk all over us. It is making a choice to recognize and give distinction to another.
We are told to earnestly accomplish things and promote each other. Helping someone else with a project they are trying to complete. Join someone in a project or organization they volunteer. Promote a brother or sister’s business to those you know. Expand their influence by sharing their work.
We are told to do it with zeal in spirit. This means that we are serving others as this passage discusses with a right heart attitude. It is done without hope for getting something back in return from the other person. Our inward attitude matches the outward expression of our willingness to love our brother and sister completely.
We are called to rejoice in hope for each other. We have pure excitement to see our fellow brother and sisters blessed beyond measure. We are hopeful for them to have everything in their life that God has for them.
We are told to stand with others in trouble. This takes vulnerability for both sides. We have to be willing to share our weaknesses, failures and needs. We have also have to be willing to accept correction where it is needed and be willing to give it with love. We have to be willing to stand with another
We are called to pray continually. It should not just be the pastors and leaders that are lifting up others in prayer. When there is a need we can meet, we should. If there is a need we can’t meet, we should pray. I had to break myself of the habit of saying “I will pray for you.” We can pray right then, right there, we can lift up the request. It only takes two to stand in agreement.
We are called to financially help others to meet needs. Tithing on offering is part of this, but it goes above and beyond what we give to the church we attend or supporting missions. It may be that we have the ability to meet a need of a brother or sister. We might buy some groceries, fill up the gas tank, pay a bill, etc,
We are called to be hospitable. We all have the ability to smile at another person. We can make someone feel welcome. We can offer to get a cup of coffee from the fellowship area. Are they alone? Ask them to join you. Are they new? Show them around.
I don’t see this consistently in the church. In small pieces or pockets, yes; as a body we are all called to be a part of this. It is not just the leaders and pastors, but every member, every brother and sister. We all need to be walking alongside each other, to step in an help. It should not fall to the 20% that are already doing most of the work.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4:11-13
The ones that we typically leave to do all the work are actually there to equip us to do the work. We are the ones called to edify the body. We are called to walk in unity of faith. We are called to grow in our knowledge of God to become all that we have been called to be in Christ.
Prayer – Lord, I know I need to be better at coming alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ. I need to connect more. I need to be available more to walk alongside others. Show me, what You would have me to do. Give me eyes to see the opportunities I am missing. I am willing. I am ready.