There is an irreducible body of truth that we hold to. It anchors us as we anchor ourselves to it. It binds us together as Christians and better enables us to live the lives God intends for us to live. As we continue on our journey with the Lord, there are certain truths that will directly affect our daily lives if we live by them “in simplicity and godly sincerity.”
You and I share a mutual faith. You have faith in God, I have faith in God. We can come together on the basis of that mutual faith. We have bound ourselves to the principles found in God’s Word and we can know we share common ground concerning our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we should not seek to cause division by amplifying our differences, instead, we should seek to build a foundation upon our mutual faith in our dear Saviour.
There’s another principle by which we live: mutual love. It is not that we simply love one another, although we do. Christ has commanded us to love one another in I John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another.” This mutual love is the love we share for the Lord Jesus Christ. We love Him because He first loved us. I appreciate that about you – that you love our Saviour. And I trust that you appreciate that about me – that I love your Saviour.
The next principle is mutual respect. We hold this respect for one another. You are someone that God created, and I am someone that God created. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that God made man in His own image. My attitude towards people reflects my attitude towards God. If I look toward the Lord like I ought to, if I believe toward God as I ought to believe, this will have a dynamic effect on my treatment of other people. I cannot expect someone to respect me if I do not respect them the way I should. We must share this mutual respect.
In my home and in my family, we have mutual submission. When my children were growing up, they thought, “I am supposed to be submissive to my mother and father.” And they were right. This is a biblical truth. But in reality, we were submissive to them also. We loved them, cared for them, and nurtured them. We understood that they had special things they needed, and time that we needed to give them. We hoped that our submission to them would support and promote their submission to us. This principle works everywhere – in your workplace, home, and church. We are to mutually submit to one another. When Paul wrote about the home and marriage in Ephesians 5:21 he said, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” This is a principle that the Lord desires us to live by.
Mutual appreciation is about more than just saying, “Thank you,” but it also requires us to say, “Thank you.” Christians should be the most mannerly, kind people possible – especially in the home. I tell people all the time, “The most manly thing I do is make up my own bed in the mornings.” And my wife says, “Thank you.” She does not have to thank me, but she expresses her appreciation. I express my appreciation for her when she prepares a meal for me. I thank her and tell her what it means to me. Appreciation breeds appreciation. Appreciation promotes more appreciation. There is not enough appreciation expressed because we are not expressing it and sowing appreciation in others.
These are just some of the principles we are encouraged in Scripture to follow in our lives. When we determine in our hearts to live by these five principles they help us become better people, friends, and co-laborers. Let us determine to live by these principles today: mutual faith, mutual love, mutual respect, mutual submission, and mutual appreciation.
*If you missed the Baptist Friends Podcast episode on these 5 principles, please click on the picture below!