“Be kind & affectionate to each other with brotherly love; in honor, preferring one another!” Romans 12 : 10
One of the first times I recall ever hearing the last half of this verse is when I was just a little boy, growing up in a parsonage. Our church was having a weekend revival with a young men’s quartet from a christian college. Around the supper table one evening, my mother (the pastor’s wife), suggested that one of the quartet boys teach her Sunday School class the following Sunday morning. She asked, “Which one of you would like to do that?”
I remember watching those young men and listening to their responses. Like typical collegians who had more interest in having some fun over the weekend, than studying and preparing for a Bible class, one looked at the fella beside him, and that one pointed quickly to the one beside him, until they’d gone all the way around the table, pointing to someone else. Finally, one of the boys piped up and said, “You see maam, we’re all VERY scriptural! We live “in honor, preferring one another!”
This interpretation, though spoken in jest, certainly missed the point of God’s instruction! The verse does not say, “In WORK or in RESPONSIBILITY or in DUTY – preferring one another.” Rather it says, “In HONOR – preferring one another!”
This injunction is propagating a beautiful system of humble, selfless deference where the Spirit-filled Christian literally DELIGHTS in the RECOGNITION, COMMENDATION and PROMOTION of OTHERS over himself. OTHERS is its theme! OTHERS is its heart cry!
“Lord, it’s not I and it’s not mine – that I want my focus to be. It’s first on YOU and all of YOURS, then OTHERS … far ahead of me!”