Written by: Ruth Meed
In our previous article, we discussed the foundation for authentic community, loving one another and why we ought to love one another. To apply this practically, we need to understand what we should NOT do to “one another” as well.
- Do Not Judge
Romans 14:13, Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
James 4:11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.
The word “judge” in these verses means to distinguish as different or condemn. While we must use righteous judgment in our interactions, we are not to be condemning of others. That is God’s job.
- Grudge not
James 5:9, Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
This means to stand against or confine. The idea of being held at gunpoint comes to mind here. It is constraining someone in an unfair or unrighteous way.
- Lie not
Colossians 3:9, Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is suitable for one another and all people.
This is a simple principle: don’t ever tell a lie for any reason to a sister in Christ.
- Don’t defraud
1 Thessalonians 4:6, and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Defraud means to be jealous, take advantage of or take something wrongfully.
- Don’t bite and devour or consume
Galatians 5:15, But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
This means, “biting down, using up or destroying.” Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt your soul was eaten away by the nasty things that were said to you or about you? That’s what this verse is referring to. We are not to be the one who does this to someone else.
- Don’t provoke or envy.
Galatians 5:26, Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
When we think about not provoking others, we are thinking about not saying things or doing things that we know will entice them to frustration. The goal is to not intentionally think of ways or say things to make others angry or feel inferior or belittled.
Ruth E. Meed BA, MAT, MS, as an author, speaker, and musician, was born the first of twin girls in Ethiopia, and at age 9 moved with her family to Ontario, Canada, and then on to New Brunswick. She earned a Diploma of Biblical and Theological Studies from New Brunswick Bible Institute, a BA in Counseling from Washington Bible College, an MAT in Special Education, and an MEd in Biblical Counseling from Bob Jones University. Ruth is a “Highly Qualified” certified Special Educator, with 27 years of experience including working for 7 years in a home for abused and neglected girls as well as teaching in public and private schools and most recently as a university assistant professor. With her wealth of leadership, teaching, and counseling experience, she offers her services through consulting, speaking, podcast interviews, and publishing. She has published a Bible study: Is God There? 34 ways God Says That He Is Faithful (Dec 2018), a biography of a Pastor, My life Story (Feb, 2019) through T. E. A. M., 3 Ministries, and a Christ-honoring music CD through Stringenberg Music Studio releasing Beside Gentle Streams: Hope for Hurting Hearts in March of 2018.