Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (ESV)
Have you ever been in a church fight? I know, churches are not supposed to fight. Sadly, there are church fights that happen all the time. What if I told you that there is a kind of church fight that would be great for every church to have? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? I believe that Paul is telling us in this verse of a fight we should have in every church.
What kind of fight am I talking about? Outdoing one another in showing honor. Can you imagine a church fight between two deacons going like this: "You're doing a better job of serving the body." "No way, Man. You are clearly doing a better at serving than I am." "No, seriously, you are better." "No, you are better."?
Ok, I am being very facetious, but Paul is actually describing for us an attitude whereby we delight in showing honor to one another. It seems that it is so much easier to find the faults in someone else and dwell on those. We enjoy telling other people about the particular faults of someone and rarely do we have the gumption to tell the person themselves about how we are feeling.
Paul says in this verse that we should love one another with brotherly affection. Honoring our brother would be a practical application of the love that we have. If we are ever going to have a church fight the way God intended us to, we are going to have to start by genuinely loving our brother from our heart. We will have to place our brother above ourselves. This is love. It will lead us to honor them.
How good are you at church fighting? Are you trying to outdo others in giving honor? Or are you too happy to outdo others in gossip? Let's fight nice.