We spend a lot of time looking for God’s plan our lives. What if it starts with the person right in front of us? Showing honor and loving with brotherly affection.
God’s Plan for Your Life
God has outlined what He wants for your life. It starts with the person right in front of you.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10
What would our churches, communities, and families look like if we took this command seriously? Would we struggle with significant, long lasting fighting and bitterness or would we seek to look at situations from the perspective of others and love them through the challenges? Would we be easily offended and lash out or would we give people the benefit of the doubt and seek to reconcile quickly? Would outsiders look in and believe we had major problems or would they think we cared deeply for one another and were willing to work through our issues?
I hear people speaking often of God’s plan for our lives as something difficult to find. I understand, in one sense, that it is often difficult to known what God has for your future, where He will place your family, and the ministry He wants your life to contribute. But, I also know that God’s plan for your life doesn’t start when He places you on the mission field or in a high ministry position. God has a plan for your life today, no matter where you live or work or what your life looks like. He wants you to love Him and love others like He does.
As believers, wouldn’t everything be much easier if we did what Scripture told us to?
I know that this is a battle, truly not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Satan desperately wants churches, communities, and families to fight against one another and be distracted out of love for one another. However, wouldn’t it be much better for us to fight the sin that dwells within us (more on that here) and the temptations that come from Satan?
God has told us clearly in His Word what His desire is for us and how our lives will work best. He has shown us infinite love and grace. He has outdone all of us in showing honor.
Humanity’s Background and the Honor that Saved Us
We all like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). We were all enemies of God (Romans 5:10). We were all dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). We deserved nothing.
Christ is and has always been perfect. He has existed for all eternity in perfect communion and unity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:29). He has never lacked in anything. He does not need anything. Christ deserved and rightfully had everything.
Out of love for the glory of God and His people, He left it all and stepped into His creation. He outdid everyone in showing honor. He loved dead enemies He had created with such brotherly affection that He went to the Cross and bore our pain. He loved us with such brotherly affection that He rose from the dead. Christ loved us with such brotherly affection that He made us brothers and sisters.
He outdid everyone for all time in showing honor.
He has called His followers to do the same.
Will we struggle with one another? Yes. Will we hurt one another? Yes. Will we let one another down? Yes.
But each of those things is an opportunity for us to show brotherly affection, to reach out rather than hide inside, to outdo one another in showing honor.
How Could This Plan Change Your Life?
A family who did this would be marked by kindness. We would be racing to help one another complete our tasks. We would be putting down our phones and stepping away from our computers to communicate value to the person in the room with us.
A community who did this would be filled with good neighbors who were looking for chances to bless others (here are some ideas). We would have no children left without home or food or family. We would have no widows or shut-ins left without resources or companionship. We would have no one feeling desperate enough to end their lives.
A church who did this would be filled with people who genuinely wanted to see each other blessed. We would welcome people from every different socioeconomic background, every ethnicity, every life situation. There would be no outcasts. Younger people and older people would not battle for their ideas but would embrace one another and seek the good of the other. We would be inviting one another into our homes and lives and working to be a blessing to one another.
God already told us what to do. When Paul penned Romans 12:10 he spoke of God’s plan for His Church; he spoke of God’s plan for your life, and God’s plan for mine.
I am supposed to love others with brotherly affection and outdo others in showing honor and so are you.
What does this look like in your life? Are there areas you can improve? What effect would taking this seriously have on your relationships and community?