One Another

Two words possess both the power and the peril of the Christian community, one another.

John Wooden won seven national championships -------- in a row as the head basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins. Overall, he won 10 national championships in 12 years. John Wooden was only 5'10," but he was the first of four men to be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

Wooden said, "You must be interested in finding the best way, not having it your own way."

Two Critical Words

The words "one another" appear together 163 times in the Bible. "One another" is unity and diversity. It is individuality and community. 

"One" describes how we are alike. Every one of us has experienced both joy and sorrow. Every one of us has needs.

"Another" describes how we are nothing alike. Each person is "another story" born of another personality. 

"One" means that we are all gifted.

"Another" means that we are gifted in different ways. 

Every "one" wants to succeed.

"Another" is the reality that no one can do it on their own.

The Best Way

Wooden said to be interested in finding the best way. What's the best way for "one another?" Jesus uses the phrase "one another" in three ways. 

Love one another (John 13:34).

Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50).

Wash one another's feet (John 13:14).

And His way is the best way.

Then Jesus dies and is raised from the dead. He ascends into Heaven. He gives us His Holy Spirit. The church is born and the applications of "one another" explode in Scripture.

Rom. 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another.

Rom. 15:7 - Welcome one another.

Rom. 15:14 - Instruct one another.

Search the phrase "one another' in the Epistles and look at all we can do for one another!

Wait for one another. Care for one another. Comfort one another. Serve one another. Submit to one another. Encourage one another. Do good to one another. Confess your sins to one another. Pray for one another.

There are lots of ways to love one another. It's by far the best way.

Your Own Way

But there is a danger when "one another" insists on his own way. The Bible gets dark when love is missing from "one another."

2 Cor. 10:12b - But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 

In Galatians 5:5 they devour one another and are consumed by one another. In Colossians 3:19 they are warned not to lie to one another. In James 4:11, do not speak evil against one another. In James 5:9 do not grumble against one another. 

Which Word?

"One another", it's our command and our curse. It's our power and our peril.

"One another" is a phrase that all depends on the word you put in front of it.

_________ one another. 

Jesus' way is the best way. If "one another" insists on his own way, it's downright awful.

So what word will you put in front of your "one another" today?

__________ one another.

Bible Study:

Read John 13:31-34.

  • What is something you learn about Jesus from this passage?
  • What is something you can praise Jesus for from this passage?
  • What is something you can ask Jesus for from this passage?


Call someone and tell them that you're sorry.

Call someone else and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.

Read more devotional challenges from The Caffeinated Christian.

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