Friday: Life-Giving Friendships
Read: Philippians 2:1-18, Romans 12:9-21
SOAP: Romans 12:9-10
Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another.
This is perhaps Scripture’s most fundamental teaching on human relationships: prioritize others above yourself. This is what “showing eagerness in honoring one another” means, that we are to outdo each another in honoring one another. We are called to humble ourselves, submitting our preferences and desires to the good of our community. In a healthy community, however, our needs are not forgotten, because others are showing eagerness in honoring us. There is mutual love, each of us seeking the good of the others.
If this sounds unrealistic and impractical, that’s because it is. God has graciously given us instructions in Scripture about how to structure our communities and cultivate good relationships, but none of those instructions can be done without His grace and none will be followed perfectly until eternity. Our hope is not in our own efforts to do good and love one another. Our hope is in God’s love for us—a love that motivates our love for each other, equips us to love each other, and gives us hope for a sinless future in which our relationships will be redeemed.
Thank You, God, that You love us perfectly. Give us the grace we need to love each other well and honor the needs of our whole community. Thank You for the gift of friendships. Amen.