As weight training and sound nutrition are for building a sound physical body, so the “one-another” commands in Scripture are for building a healthy spiritual body—the body of Christ! Let’s take a look at just a few of them:
- John 13:34 Love one another
- Romans 15:7 Accept one another
- Galatians 15:14 Serve one another
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage one another
- Hebrews 10:24 Stir up one another to love and good works
To love, accept, serve, encourage, and stir up one another means we are more focused on others than we are ourselves. And this is body building by the Book—the Book—that is, the Word of God. The Gospel tells us that we not only have been given the ability to be “other-oriented,” but we also have been given the responsibility to be this way.God in Christ has given each of us great gifts in our vertical relationship with Him (mercy, grace, acceptance, love, strength, etc.), and we are directed to pass these gifts on to all others in our horizontal relationships with one another.
In physical body building, if we neglect a part of our body, it will lag behind all the others. When I worked as a fitness trainer, it was not uncommon to see men with well-muscled upper bodies and weak, underdeveloped “flamingo legs.” The same is true in the body of Christ. If we neglect someone or a group of people, we will all lag behind what God is calling us to be as one body with many members.
So . . . how are you doing with your current body building program? Are there any underdeveloped “flamingo-like” areas that could use a bit more focus? Let’s close with another “one another” command from the pen of the apostle Paul. Since the greatest of all our spiritual gifts is love (1 Corinthians 13:13), let us heed Paul’s reminder to heed our calling to Body Building by the Book!
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. (Romans 12:10)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!