As fellow citizens of God’s Kingdom, the relationship we share with one another is critically important. The Apostle Paul uses the term “one another” precisely 40 times in his writings to the churches. In most of those instances, Paul is identifying a unique relationship we share with one another or a specific responsibility we have toward one another. Someone helped me see that each of these passages fall within one of eight categories. As Christians we have eight obligations toward one another:

  • An Obligation of Affirmation.
  • An Obligation of Availability.
  • An Obligation of Intercession.
  • An Obligation of Transparency.
  • An Obligation of Loving Candor.
  • An Obligation of Loving Service.
  • An Obligation of Loyalty.
  • An Obligation of Responsibility.

For example, Paul’s admonition that Christians be devoted to one another, that we give preference to one another, that we honor one another (Romans 12:10), and that we not judge one another (Romans 14:13) all fall under the broad obligation we have to affirm one another.

          As busy Christians living in a busy world, we tend toward efficiency and economy-it is only natural. The danger, however, is that we become so efficient with our religious expressions, and so economical with the time we spend “at church,” that we neglect the larger obligations we owe to one another.

          Relationships take time, require effort, and must be made a priority. According to God’s Word, nurturing healthy relationships among God’s people is not only a part of our obligation toward one another in this world it is an integral element of our ministry to this world!