There are 59 verses in the New Testament that include the words “one another” in them. We’ve already taken a look at the first twenty-four one anothers (you can read #1-15 here and #16-24 here); now let’s look and meditate on the next four.
“And be ye kind one to another…” (Ephesians 4:32a)
When we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, our actions and words naturally portray the Christ-likeness we all inwardly desire. This particular “one another” comes as a reminder to treat our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as we ourselves would like to be treated – with kindness. But the goal here is not necessarily so that there is peace within the Lord’s church, although that is nice. The ultimate motive for kindness is so that the Spirit of God is not grieved. And grieving the Spirit will always hindered Him working in lives. The indwelling Spirit is also the source of our kindness (see the previous verses). Only through Him can we be kind, forgive others, and overcome bitterness, anger, and evil speaking. Our words and actions will always do one of two things: grieve the Holy Spirit, or cheer the Holy Spirit.
“…forgiving one another…” (Ephesians 4:32b)
Forgiveness cannot be done in the flesh. Our flesh prefers revenge and the humiliation of our offenders. But, as the tail end of this verse so sweetly reminds us, it is because of God’s forgiveness that we have the power to forgive – “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Only the forgiven can forgive. And as the shepherd boy once said, “Is there not a cause?” Is not the furtherance of the Gospel reason enough to forgive one another? The heart of God is grieved when we choose not to forgive, thereby opening the door to Satan to destroy lives. Our actions always affect other people – whether they’re of remission or revenge.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Humility is needful among believers and is illustrated by deferring to each other. Throughout the New Testament, Paul deals with the importance of submission in the Christian’s life, including the government (Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17), the home (Colossians 3:18-4:1 and 1 Peter 2:18-3:7), and the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15). Depending on how you are wired (confrontational or non-confrontational), not submitting yourself to another might look like getting the final word in a disagreement, or it may be safeguarding yourself from people who challenge your opinions. This doesn’t mean you can never have a disagreement. “In the fear of God” is where the line of defending your wants is drawn. (“the Lord looketh on the heart” and “as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”)
“…in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
Most of us, when our pride is challenged, we have to stop, remind ourselves of who we really are, and repent of our pride! Lowliness may very well be one step lower than humility. Remember the woman in Matthew 15 whose daughter was vexed with a devil? She pleaded for Jesus to help her, but He sent her away and even compared her to a dog! This woman truly was lowly. She was aware of her depravity and even agreed with Jesus’ assessment about herself. Jesus saw her lowliness of mind and cried, “O woman, great is thy faith!” When we bear this same lowly view of ourselves, we’ll naturally place greater value on others.