Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.—Ephesians 4:2-3
At the age of 14, a young man ran away from home and fought in the French and Indian War. When the American Revolution broke out, he joined the Continental Army and helped capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British. He later led 1,000 men into Canada where he fought in the Battle of Quebec.
Yes, Major General Benedict Arnold was a war hero at the pinnacle of his military career. But in 1780, he did the unthinkable and devised a plan to surrender West Point to the British. So today, instead of being remembered as an American hero, his very name is synonymous with “traitor.”
Anyone looking at Arnold’s resume would no doubt be impressed at what he’s accomplished for his country. But when you take into account the egregious nature of his deception and betrayal, none of his accomplishments really matter because of the deep wound he put on the nation he swore to defend.
It can sometimes be easy to pat ourselves on the backs for the good deeds we’ve done in our lives. But the question that remains is whether or not we’ve truly honored and valued others by our thoughts and our actions, or just did them to be recognized.
When it comes to loving others, don’t just do it in deed. Instead, truly honor them above yourself. When you put others first, you’ll maintain the spiritual unity God wants for His people!
Pray and ask God to help you love others authentically, putting them first to maintain healthy spiritual unity.
Questions for thought
Where would you say you’ve perhaps missed the mark in the past when it comes to loving others authentically? How did it impact those relationships?
What changes can you make today in order to be more intentional about honoring others out of a real desire to put them before yourself?