Ways to Love One Another

“Love is the only fire that is hot enough to melt the iron obstinacy of a creature’s will.” —Alexander MacLaren

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7)

There is a variety of “one another” commands in the New Testament. By far, the most common is that we “love one another” (Jn. 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Rom. 13:8; 1 Thes. 3:12; 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8; 1 Jn. 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 Jn. 5). But in a day in which love is so misunderstood, we might very well ask, “What does that mean? How do we do that?”

Thankfully, the New Testament provides a variety of other “one another” commands that answer those very questions. They cover a wide range of topics, actions, and attitudes. Together, they provide an intensely practical list of ways in which we can obey our Lord’s command to love one another.

The following is a list of most of the New Testament’s “one another” commands. A few commands that were given for more

specific circumstances have been omitted. We have grouped similar commands together.

  1. comfort (1 Thes. 4:18); encourage (1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 3:13; 10:25); speak to…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)
  2. build up (Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:13); stimulate…to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24)
  3. be hospitable to (1 Pet. 4:9)
  4. regard…as more important than oneself (Php. 2:3); be devoted to (Rom. 12:10); give preference to (Rom. 12:10); be subject to (Eph. 5:21); clothe self with humility toward (1 Pet. 5:5)
  5. be at peace with (Mk. 9:50); be of the same mind toward (Rom. 12:16; 15:5); accept (Rom. 15:7); showing forbearance to (Eph. 4:2); forgive (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13); bear with (Col. 3:13)
  6. serve (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 4:10); wash one another’s feet (Jn. 13:14); bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2)
  7. pray for (Jas. 5:16)
  8. have the same care for (1 Cor. 12:25); be kind to (Eph. 4:32)
  9. admonish (Rom. 15:14)
  10. confess your sins to (Jas. 5:16)