I LOVE the "One Anothers" of Scripture, but now I am even more passionate about it because of what was revealed in our time of discussion.
This was the assignment: (I send it two weeks ahead so they have time to prepare, and pray through the study before we meet.)
* Read through each of these - and look up the verses for context.
* Think about those in your life for whom it is EASY for you to obey these commands.
* Think about those for whom it is quite difficult. WHY?
The Lord commands us to do these with ALL believers - not just the pleasant ones!
* Which of these "one anothers" do you do naturally?
* Which ones are the hardest for you?
When we were together, each woman shared her answers to these questions - and the level of their honesty and transparency was fantastic! We are definitely building trust with one another, which, of course, is always the goal in a small group. Not only did they share their answers, they shared their weaknesses, and quite honestly - their sin. Their ability and willingness to be so open about why they struggle with obeying these commands, and their desire to change and seek the Lord for strength to live them out with the body of Christ was encouraging and challenging.
As each of us shared, we found two common struggles - Admonishing one another (no one likes telling others they are in sin, or bearing the rejection that usually follows) and Praying for one another (the committed consistency of prayer). We talked about these two commands at length, and now we know what we will be focusing on for our next evening together. The Lord did not put these in Scripture as suggestions for His children ... He put them in to be obeyed. Regardless of how awkward or difficult they may be.
After we finished the study, and prayed, it struck me to give us a post-assignment assignment. I encouraged them to make a list – the positive/natural ‘one anothers’ on one side and the weaknesses/disobedience ‘one anothers’ on the other side. We need to rejoice and praise God for the ones we already live out. And pray and ask the Lord to show us where He wants to refine us ... which of these does He want to change, reshape, and enhance in us? And then, we can place the list somewhere we can see it so we can be reminded of what God is asking us to do ~ and be encouraged to take action.
This was such a great study! A wonderful discussion as sisters in Christ. Encouraging - and quite revealing. A lot of laughter. Many hums of agreement and understanding. I LOVE these nights with my girls! With all I do to prepare for them, THEY always push me to think and pursue more study because of their responses, insights, and thoughts. The Lord definitely uses these nights to "stir us up to love and good deeds" - and I am so glad He does!
I pray this list of God's commands for working, living, and interacting with the body of Christ will be as encouraging and motivating for you as it was for us!
The One Another's of Scripture
Be at peace with one another –
Love one another – ;
Build up one another – ;
Be of the same mind toward one another –
Give preference to one another –
Greet one another –
Esteem others as better than yourself –
Serve one another –
Receive one another –
Be devoted to one another –
Rejoice or weep with one another –
Admonish one another – ;
Care for one another –
Show tolerance toward one another – ; ;
Be kind and forgiving to one another – ;
Submit to one another – ;
Comfort one another –
Encourage one another – ;
Be compassionate with one another –
Pray for one another –
Confess your faults to one another –
Accept one another –
Be truthful with one another –