The one who knows Christ is bound to think oft of each of these notions.
The New Testament church was encouraged with this word combo ad nausea. Love one another. Honor one another. Accept one another. Greet one another. Serve one another. Regard one another. Comfort one another. Build up one another. Encourage one another. Over and over again the church was called up into this kingdom ethic….67 times if my count is right. You can’t be the church by yourself. You can only be the church in connection with each other. Some call it fellowship. Some call it community. Whatever you call it, it’s quintessential church.
But there is a danger if we get too concentrated on “one another”. We lose the forest for the trees, the world for the church. That is why it is critical that we also think about…
Once you’re connected, connect another one. You might have great friendships at church, what about another one? You might be comfortable in your Life Group, what about making room for another one. Once you’ve found Christ, reach another one. And once you’ve reached someone else, reach another one. If you’re going out with some of your good friends, take another one along. When you’re sitting in church enjoying one another’s company, is there another one sitting alone, standing off to the side? Leave the 99 and love the 1.
One another. Another one.
A healthy Christian pursues both.
A healthy Church pursues both.
Just for the record, I’m trying to swing back toward “another one”. I’ve gotten a little imbalanced with too much “one another” time to the detriment of reaching “another one”. I want to keep my eyes open for the outlier. It seemed that Jesus did a great job balancing “one another” time (disciples) with “another one” time (encounters with individuals in the crowds).
Love your country deeply. But don’t forget about reaching out to another one.
Love your church deeply. But don’t forget about starting another one.
Love your family deeply. But don’t neglect inviting over another one.
Love your friends deeply. But don’t think yourself above having another one.
God couldn’t care more about us caring for one another, nor could he care more about us caring for another one. Conversely, God couldn’t care less about us caring for one another if our hearts are not making space for “another one”.
One another and Another one.