Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another– Romans 12:10
Be RESPECTFUL in your Love! We must be REAL, PURE, and FERVENT in our love. Now, we get down to the very foundational nature of Biblical love. With Biblical love, whether it be the love which God commendeth toward us (Romans 5:8) or the brotherly love which we should have for one another (Romans 12:10), BIBLICAL love will put someone else first. The love of this world DOES NOT teach this. I actually believe that someone cannot truly practice this kind of love unless Christ is first in the heart. Lost people can CARE deeply about others, but they cannot LOVE with a Biblical love.1 John 4:7 says that “love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Now, the problem is that even Born-Again Believers struggle against their carnal nature, and it is this nature that causes us to love ourselves more than others. Today we’ll look at two ideas in putting others first through love – 1) We Must THINK Higher of Others and 2) We Must TREAT Others Better
To THINK Higher of Others
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – Philippians 2:3
What does it mean to “esteem other better than themselves?” The very English word, “esteem,” means to ESTIMATE highly in reputation. When we esteem others better than ourselves, we THINK more highly of others. This is matter of heart. We don’t just outwardly put on a show. We must actually, truly think others better than ourselves in terms of reputation and worth. This is COMPLETELY CONTRARY to what the world teaches. The world teaches us to BUILD UP our CARNAL self. The world teaches us that nobody else is more valuable than ourselves. The Bible teaches us to TEAR DOWN the CARNAL self. This does of course build up the Spiritual man (See the Renewing the Mind studies). This type of true, heartfelt thinking is tough to adopt. We must “in lowliness of mind” esteem others better. It takes thinking less of ourselves.
To TREAT Others Better
We return to our original verse –
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” – Romans 12:10
It’s amazes me how exactly the translators nailed down this verse. The Greek word translated here as “preferring” literally means “to lead before.” Out of curiosity, I looked up the word “prefer” to see where we got the word from. “Prefer” comes from a combination of two Latin words which means “to lead before.” The idea that comes with it is that of a royal caravan where servants travel in front of the king or queen to lead before in honor. To prefer someone else in honor means to not only THINK them better but to TREAT them better. Just as a servant would prefer a king in honor, we should do the same in our attitudes and treatment of others. Just as with our first point, it is also against our nature to TREAT others better. How do you treat your waiter or waitress at the restaurant? Are they YOUR servant? Many people would reply, “Well YES, I’M the one giving them a TIP! They are to do MY bidding.” Whose money is that tip? It ain’t yours! You’ve been made a STEWARD of it. Our treasures should be HEAVENLY. Don’t you dare lay down a Gospel tract on the table without your waiter knowing that you PREFER them in honor and ESTEEM them better than yourself. I hate to see church people treat waiters horribly, pointing out every little mistake they make only to lay down a Gospel tract that says that God loves them. I’m glad God doesn’t do that to us! LISTEN! WE are to LOVE OTHERS. This goes against our carnal nature! WE must WORK at it! We must also allow the LORD to work in our hearts to cultivate a LOVING spirit toward others.
Think better. Treat better.
Be RESPECTFUL in Your Love!