If there’s one thing we Christians are good at doing, it’s trying to make others better.
But that’s what the Bible tells us to do, right? To do everything we can to make one another into the Christians we know they should be… right?
Ray Ortlund has a list of “one anothers” that he can’t find in the Scriptures.
Sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another, sacrifice one another, shame one another, judge one another, run one another’s lives, confess one another’s sins, intensify one another’s sufferings, point out one another’s failings…
I’ll be honest. I couldn’t find them either. Admittedly, I think I’m rather good at sanctifying others…
But even I have to admit that neither the Scriptures nor the Church ever tell me to make someone else holy. That’s just a happy accident on my part!
What then does the Bible say to do to one another?
Love your neighbour as yourself. (Mk 12:31)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (Jn 13:24)
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (Jn 15:12)
This I command you, to love one another. (Jn 15:17)
Love one another with brotherly affection. (Rom 12:10)
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. (Rom 13:8)
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Gal 5:14)
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. (Gal 5:13)
But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. (1 Th 4:9)
If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well. (Ja 2:8)
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart. (1 Pe 1:22)
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Pe 3:8)
Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pe 4:8)
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (1 Jn 3:23)
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 Jn 4:7)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 Jn 4:11)
No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 Jn 4:12)
It’s almost like God’s trying to tell us something. If only I could figure out what it is…