Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
And Sunday at church we visited Romans 12:10... Love one another with brotherly affection...
Rob did a great job explaining what Believers loving one another looks like: It’s not that we agree on every point and screw pretend smiles on our faces, but we get along in the Family of God like brothers and sisters do in a nuclear family. He pointed out that those who were raised as an only child unfortunately missed out on the natural phenomena that is “brotherly love.” They might have a hard time loving others, overlooking offenses, and absorbing the cost of forgiveness because they weren’t faced with doing it on a daily bases with siblings.
I’ve always noticed to be careful with my girlfriends who didn’t grow up with a sister. They are easily offended and don’t know it’s possible one can give an opposing opinion, maybe even argue passionately about it but end up hugging in the end. My sister and I are close and we began our relationship with toddler squabbles about who gets what toy. Somebody takes and somebody gives, and the next time it’s the other way around. And when it’s your turn to give, YOU absorb the cost. You do not get your way, but you still play together. You just do.
That’s what Paul means when he tells Believers to love one another. Love each other like siblings. And if you didn’t grow up with siblings, learn to love like a sibling. God said that Jesus would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29). So, no one will be an “only child” in Heaven, so no one should interact like one now. When you engage other Believers with Brotherly Love, you won’t always get your way, but you do always work it out. And this is the only way to work together with one mind a purpose.
I am so thankful for my siblings. I’m glad for experiences that have shaped me to be able to increase my capacity for giving and receiving grace from others. I thank you that you don’t expect perfection. There’s so many issues that I don’t see eye to eye with others about, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love them. Thank you for making us a family; it feels good. And I pray for my Believing friends who struggle with this, who are easily offended, and who have a hard time offering grace. Help them to just try absorbing the cost of forgiveness on a matter and see you sustain them through it. That is a good feeling too! I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.