Remember that old show All in the Family? Didn't you just want to slap Archie Bunker half the time? Talk about lack of respect toward, well...anyone!
We're working on keeping it classy, i.e. humble. Last week, you were challenged to spend one week, just one, abhorring what is evil and clinging to what is good.
Did you do it? Did you have to give anything up that didn't line up with God's thoughts? I did.
Did you meditate on the scriptures I included with the post? Any particular one stick out to you? (You can share that in the comments believe if you want.) You can read the last two parts in the series, just click on them.
It feels good to please the Lord, doesn't it?
We're unpacking Romans 12:9-21 over the next few weeks. Today we're going to camp on verse 10.
"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;" NKJV
*Take note, this verse is talking about how believers should interact with other believers.
The Greek word for "Be kindly affectionate" is philostorgos which means prone to love, affection of parents/children, but it comes from a root word that will help us give the meaning a deeper richness.
Philostorgos comes from the root word, philos. You may recognize this word from a Bible study or from your pastor's preaching in regard to phileo love. Friendly affection; one of the bridegroom's friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials.
BFF kind of love. Think about who you chose as your maid/matron of honor or who you/your husband chose as a best man.
I like to call friends who are like family, fremily.
This word means to cherish one's kindred.
What makes us family, fremily, kindred?
Like our biological siblings, we don't choose who becomes part of our family. But we do love them.
And how we treat them, means a lot to our Father. A lot to our Bridegroom, who chose each one before the foundation of the world. He put copious amounts of thought into each member of our family, including you. Including me. And He expects us to get along. And not just get along…
"in honor giving preference to one another."
Let's break down each one of these words to grasp the whole meaning. Otherwise we can't apply it, and if we aren't going to apply God's Word to our lives, why even read it in the first place? We're wasting our time. No?
The Greek word for honor is timē and it means a couple of things. And the first will seem odd, but we're going to see it in a minute!
Ready for this?
a valuing by which the price is fixed; of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
This is where we say, "Um…????"
It also means, honour which belongs or is shown to one; of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds; deference, reverence
This Greek word, timē, is found 43 times in the Greek concordance of the KJV. I'd think we should pay attention to it, yes?
Let's look at a few of them to pull these two definitions together. I want you to get this way down deep!
"And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood." Matthew 27:6 KJV
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
"And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness." 1 Corinthians 12:23
"For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:" 1 Corinthians 12:24
We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and revere them. Each of them. Even the ones that you don't connect with well. The ones who at the last meeting still have questions that make no sense and you just want to get home. The ones who buck and kick at every single change the leadership makes. The ones who spread rumors about you, slander your name, intentionally try to hurt you. The ones in the limelight and over 400 ministries and love everyone to know it. The ones who struggle. The ones who seem to always need one more prayer, one more word of encouragement. The ones who suck the life out of you.
The ones who are easy for you to slip by because they're quiet and fade into the background. The ones who will talk your ear off if you don't hide or pretend to be engrossed in a conversation with someone else. The ones who will nag the stew out of you to volunteer for a program/ministry you do not feel you should do (but they never care because if it's important to them it should be on everyone's top priority). The ones who remind the whole world how important they are and how much they tithe.
The ones you pour into regularly and ignore your counsel. The ones who never call you by the right name and you've known them ten years. The ones that reject you, let you down, ignore your heart, overlook you, pass you by, call you only when they need a favor or for you to lead a ministry, take credit when you've done all the work, make decisions you know are wrong, never make you feel welcome or a part of the team, forget you…
The ones who aren't quite easy to love.
Because they hold a high rank. Based on the price paid for them by the precious blood of Christ.
And when you can see them through the blood of Christ, through the price paid for them to be in the family, then you can humble yourself to love them, to revere them, to hold them in the high honor they deserve.
Don't expect it to be easy.
But expect it to be attainable.
"giving preference to one another."
The Greek word for preference is proēgeomai and it means, one going before and showing the way as an example of deference
What does deference mean?
"Humble submission and respect."
We can't wait for the uneasy to love and show us some respect. We can't play the 'I'll withhold from you if you withhold from me' card.
We are to lead each other by example, showing respect and humbly submitting.
I wonder if we loved without hypocrisy and showed our fremily respect simply based on the high rank they hold through the price Jesus paid--His blood--if that wouldn't do something inside us.
If maybe that wouldn't humble us? Just to show them respect is humbling, don't you think?
Life Application: This week, add to your clinging to what is good, respecting and honoring believers who are uneasy to honor and love. Find one thing that you can do to show reverence to on of your God-given fremily. Maybe send them a note of encouragement (pray about who and what scripture you need to write). Maybe you need to suck it up and ask forgiveness for your uncomely behavior this week. Eeek! Could you offer to watch a couple of bratty kids so the woman who rarely speaks to you can have a few hours to herself? Can you take someone who flaunts their money to lunch and pay for it? Figure it out. Find a way to show respect. Cling to what is good. Love without hypocrisy. And I will too.
Prayer: Sweet One, we love you and adore you. Humble us. Cut away our pride--whatever it may be. Remove our selfishness. Remind us of your selflessness--all the times you lost sleep to minister to multitudes and even in your sleep was awakened to comfort and calm fears. How exhausted, Jesus, you must have been if you could sleep through storms. Never really having a place to lay your head. This week, help us to be selfless and see the needs of those who are simply hard for us to honor, respect, and love. Give us spiritual eyes to see the price paid for them, to see their worth. Show us this week what we can do to love and who we can bless and then keep distractions from getting in the way of humbling ourselves and following through. We seek to honor you. For your glory. For a kingdom that never ends. In your precious name, Jesus, we ask this. Amen.
Let's get some dialogue going: Did you do last week's challenge? Did you give something up? You don't have to say what it was, but a simple "yes" will do, and share how it did or didn't change your attitude?