Consider One Another
John Telgren

I grew up hearing this Bible verse quoted: "Do not forsake the assembly." I remember people saying that this meant that everyone needed to be present at Sunday morning assembly or they were sinning against the assembly, against the church.

I took a closer look at that scripture, and have since then even read it in the original language it was written in, and here is what it actually says.

"And may we consider one another to provoke love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves as the practice of some, but encouraging, and much more as you see the day drawing near" (Heb 10:24-25).

The first phrase is "May we consider one another." It does not say, "Consider how to…," but simply to "Consider one another." Consideration is an attitude that comes ultimately from the character of God. There was the time when he allowed David to build a house for the even though he never commanded not desired it (2 Sam 7), or when he allowed the Israelites to sacrifice to him even though he didn't command it (Jer 7:22-23), though he did regulate it. We also see it modeled in our Lord Jesus Christ when he washed his disciples feet (Jn 13), when he taught that the first will be last and the last will be first, when he came to server rather than to be served (Mk 10:45). We see Paul instruct it when he says "with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil 2:3-4). We see him model it when he says, "I will gladly spend and be expended for your souls" (2 Cor 12:15).

There is an old acronym I learned on the JOY bus, J.O.Y. stands for Jesus, others, and yourself last. That expresses in a nutshell what this "consideration" business is all about. It begins with asking, "What will promote love and good works for my brother or sister?" It is not about my personal preferences, but about my brother's, and what encourages him to grow. There may be a ministry, whether it is small groups or Bible classes, a Bible translation, whether old or new, a type of song, whether a spiritual or more reflective type of song, or something else that may be of little benefit to me personally, but of great benefit to my brother. If I consider him, then he can be stimulated to love and good deeds. It is not about my personal preference, but doing as the scripture says, "Consider one another." If I say, "no one is considering me!" and sit and sulk about it, then I have missed the spirit of this passage. Consideration is given, not taken. Besides, it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). The more I give, the more I receive.

We all need to say, "If I do not consider my brother, then I will not be able to do what is to come next in this passage, which is stimulating and provoking my brethren to love and good deeds." It is a beautiful thing when brethren have consideration for "one another." When all are giving consideration, then the church is being the church and reflecting something of the beauty of the character of God.

A good exercise would be to meditate on this and ask, "What considerations could I give that would stimulate a brother(s) or sister(s) to love and good deeds?"