v 10. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.
Here is a massive building block if we are to help construct a just and honest society – it is labelled ‘Humility’. In other words, we regard others and their needs as having priority over our own.
This too is utterly counter-cultural; the natural tendency in each of us is to push our own agenda and get our own way. It can be done subtly by sulky silence, by the playground politics of verbal bullying, or by simply shouting and screaming in a childish paddy. Many of us have exhibited one or other of these characteristics when our cherished plans are in danger of being thwarted. We may even have enjoyed the power of being a controller, getting other people to run around and do our bidding.
Now, there is nothing wrong in being a good organiser! But there is a whole lot wrong in being the kind of controller who simply wants things done ‘My way to make it easy for me.’ Giving honour, or precedence, to others is a positive characteristic, helping to build up others in love. Nor is this a play-acting virtue – we don’t just pretend others are better and more valuable, we really believe it and live accordingly. We put them first because we believe their needs are more significant than our own. In Romans 12:3 Paul puts it this way ‘For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.’ Make this your prayerful aim this coming week!