One Another

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By: Amy J. Puccillo

Have you ever stopped to think about the phrase “one another”? I have wondered about this phrase and its meaning for some time. There are so many Scripture passages related to the idea of “one another” that I decided to explore this concept further.

My first step was to look up each word on the computer thesaurus (yes, I took the easy way out). Here is what I came up with:
One = single, solitary, lone, individual
Another = one more, an additional, a new, an extra, an added, any more
Put these two together, and “one another” means “a reciprocal relationship or reciprocal actions among the members.”

As I thought of this concept of “one another,” my newest nephew, RJ, came to mind. He is a welcome addition to our ever-growing family. My parents have been able to watch nine grandchildren enter the family in the past nine years. That’s one grandchild per year! With each new baby added on, our family naturally adopted the “one another” mentality. We easily accepted the idea of the preciousness of others and embraced the concept of loving each other wholeheartedly and being there for one another. Reflecting on my family helped put this into perspective for me and realize my need to apply this idea to others in my life as well.

It may be easy for you, like it was for me, to have a “one another” mentality when it comes to your family. Or perhaps it’s easier for you with your friends. However, “one another” isn’t exclusive to family only or friends only. It refers to everyone! Family, friends, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, the dentist, your postal worker…the list goes on and on. I asked myself how I was doing demonstrating God’s love to all those listed above and even others still. What I have found is that when I treat others with the special care I give to those I love, more often than not – their responses are warm, soft, kind and gentle.

This is especially true of my pharmacist. He is usually very short with his words, rather harsh, rarely smiling and never making eye contact. One day I decided to give him some genuine encouragement by not only thanking him for his help but also complimenting him on his tie. I couldn’t believe the way his face lit up! Since then, whenever I return for a prescription, he has remembered my kind words and treated me more like an old friend than just another customer. Who knew such a small gesture could make such a big difference. From the check-out clerk to the bank teller and even my favorite fast-food drive thru personnel, I have found that adopting the one-another approach to any situation brings as much encouragement to others as it does myself!

How about you? How are you doing?
Check out the Scripture verses below. Examine your heart and measure your motives just as I have done. It is a rewarding and refreshing reminder of just what we are commanded to do.

“Encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

“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)

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Peter 3:8)

Following the “one another” principle can be challenging, but Jesus did it, and He commands us to do it also. My suggestion: Pick one of the above verses, pray over it, memorize it, and do it!

© 2009 by Amy Pucillo. All rights reserved.

*All Scripture references taken from New International Version.

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Blogger Winnie said...

What a great idea! I work in customer service which is usally very nice, but sometimes I experience some unfriendly customers. Next time I run across that, I am going to find something that I can compliment them on!

Great post :0)

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