Rom. 12:10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
Paul is calling God’s children to exhibit love in all that they do. They are to love their fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and be intentional about showing honor to one another. We may think that he is only referring to Christians showing mutual affection to one another but this is not the case. Jesus came to save sinners and love them. If that is the case then he loved us when we were yet sinners and we are to follow his example. Therefore we extend love and that is seen in the ways in which we honor others. Love and honor are connected and reveal the love of Christ in action.
During a time in which it seems people are becoming more divided the word of God constantly calls us back to unity. We see disunity around the globe as people find all kinds of ideological reasons to dishonor one another. The divisions are coming right into our own communities and neighborhoods and creating friction among people who may have previously been friends. The call to God’s people is to go above and beyond in loving and reaching out to one another.
Intentionality in love and action is what reveals honor. Put others’ needs and concerns before your own and think of ways in which you can share from your own resources with others who may have need. In sharing, respect the others and never allow them to feel any lower than you because they may not have as much as you.
Too often we think of love in passive ways but this scripture spurs us on to love in action and to consider ways in which we can honor others. I see it as a challenge from the Apostle Paul reaching us down through the centuries. Christians — outdo the non-Christians in your communities in showing love and honoring others! Church — take responsibility to outdo others in showing love and honoring others!
Maybe it feels a little competitive, but maybe it should. Paul thought that Christians ought to reveal Christ above all and never allow the popular culture to win the day when it comes to the topics that belong to the realm of God. I’m afraid we’ve been abdicating our responsibility to others and as a result the Church may be losing her voice. It’s not just a voice, but love in action which needs to be seen.
Take up the challenge from Paul and see what can be done as we try to outdo one another in showing love and honor.
Lord, thank you for this challenge today. Amen.
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