Leaders in the early church spoke of a life intertwined with others in a way that American Christians have a hard time imagining, let alone embracing! They described, the first characteristic of a God-designed community: Interdependence.
Here are a few “one anothers” that vividly describe how we are meant to live interdependently:
- “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13 NIV).
- “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14 NIV).
- “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…” (Colossians 3:16 NIV).
What a depth of interaction with others! Sometimes we can be uncomfortable with these can’t we? The real question is not whether we are willing to operate in obedience to these commands. It’s whether we are willing to receive these ministries from our brothers and sisters!
Am I willing to be served? Am I open to someone’s kindness and help when I need it most? Am I teachable or open to correction?
Our culture of isolation tells us to “have it together” and not receive these “one anothers” that God has designed for us. My prayer for us is that we may grow less hard and resistant to God’s help through those he has placed around us.