This week's blog post is written by Minette Ericson, Riverwood's phenomenal administrative assistant.
My children are probably like most other siblings: best frenemies. I am constantly telling my kiddos that God gave them a built-in best friend for life when He gave them their siblings. I want to remind them that being a friend is hard and takes practice, so they may as well begin that practice with their family members.
Even if you're an only child or don't have close natural family ties, I am sure there is someone you consider to be "family" because you've experienced life together with them: a close friend, a mentor, or a spouse. And for those of you who are followers of Jesus, you are already part of a large family: the body of Christ!
In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts the believers on how they should live in light of being redeemed by Jesus and choosing to follow Him. In the beginning of Romans Chapter 12, Paul talks about how the body of Christ has different gifts we each must use in order for our "body" to function appropriately. However, he didn't want to leave us with the single thought that we need to attend only to our own gifts, but rather he turned the focus on what we can ALL do that will cement the union of believers together: love.
Romans 12:10 states:
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."
Another translation states: "Be devoted to one another in love." The Greek word translated "love" in this verse is the word philia, which means "brotherly love". This means we are to dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of loving each other like family. And this type of love is marked by showing care, affection, compassion, and utmost respect for one another.
This isn't just a passing suggestion either. Paul calls us to "outdo one another in showing honor." He's doubling down on his exhortation. And whenever the Bible repeats itself, we better pay attention!
So why then should we be devoted to one another in this "philia" love? This devotion to others will serve to unite followers of Jesus. It will also set us apart, and hopefully draw others to the love of God. In John 13:35, Jesus says, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Is there a member of your "family" you can outdo in being devoted in love? I encourage you to seek out someone you need to devote some time, resources, or just a listening ear to this week.
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