The church at Corinth struggled in a variety of ways. As Paul writes to them, one particular principle seems to surface frequently. They are admonished to look out for one another’s well-being. Do we do so?
Whether issues relating to eating meat offered to idols, tarrying one for another when observing the Lord’s Supper, marriage relationships, spiritual gifts, filing lawsuits against brethren, or immorality among them, one admonition resonates repeatedly. In sundry ways, they were told, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (1 Cor. 10:24).
Upon this principle hinges much of the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:30-31. Simply stated, we cannot love God without loving one another (1 John 4:20-21).
Seeking one another’s well-being is definitely not sacrificing or scarcely considering the concerns of others to attain our own desires. It is also not merely avoiding pressing our own wants and needs instead of giving thought to others first. The love God shows us ought to compel us to actually sacrifice for one another, putting the concerns and interests of others above our own. When this happens, there will be others putting our concerns and interests above their own. Brethren will be looking out for brethren. Brotherly love will continue (Heb. 13:1).
The apostle Paul told the Philippians, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of your look out not only for his own interest, but also the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). All it takes is one brother selfishly and conceitedly pursuing his own above others to undermine the most precious and essential spirit of brotherly love that must exist among us.
We easily forget that it is our love and care for one another that sets us apart from the world and marks us most distinctively as His disciples. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35).