Prefer One Another
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. – Romans 12:10
My former roommate and I had mutual friends who once left two gifts at our apartment door—a woven macramé and a
$5.00 bill. I saw the gifts first, and without giving any thought to the macramé, I quickly pocketed the money. I was in my twenties at the time; old
enough to know better, but apparently not wise enough to do better.
Even at that time, I was familiar with the Biblical account in Genesis 13, which tells of Abraham’s herdsmen not getting along with the herdsmen of his
nephew Lot. Abraham knew that he and Lot would have to go their separate ways, and he displayed a humble spirit in dealing with the problem. Instead
of invoking his seniority, Abraham gave Lot first choice of the land. Lot chose what appeared to be the best terrain, the well-watered plains of Jordan,
so Abraham settled in the land of Canaan. After that, God told Abraham to lift up his eyes and look to the north, south, east, and west, because all
the land that Abraham could see would belong to him and to his children someday. What a marvelous blessing!
If that lesson truly had been in my heart at the time those gifts were left at our door, I would have set both of them aside and given my roommate the
opportunity to have first choice. I do not believe the Lord would have sent any grand gifts my way for such action, yet I do believe He would have
been pleased with that decision and would have blessed the result. At a minimum, I would have enjoyed the contentment that comes from obeying the Lord
and doing something kind for another person.
Since that incident, I have made restitution to my former roommate, and now I know the wisdom in Paul’s admonition to prefer one another. When we put others
first, God will be the first to see it and to show us His approval.
Dear Lord, Help me put to work the sterling lessons within Your Word. As I seek to follow Your will for my life and to value and respect my brothers and sisters, I know that You will guide me. Amen.