We are commanded several times in the New Testament to “love one another” (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 4:8 etc.). The Lord says our love for each other is an identifying mark of our discipleship. As we are given all things that pertain to life and godliness, God provides several examples of how to love each other.
Toward the elders, we should show obeisance. Paul tells us to remember them, to follow them, to obey them, and to be submissive. We are to do all of these things as they “watch out for your souls,” and we should strive to make their service as elders joyful (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Toward the deacons, we should support them. If our ultimate goal is to get to heaven, and our secondary goal is to take others with us, should we not also be striving to help each other every step along the way? Paul says that “those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 3:13). Let us do whatever we can to assist our deacons in their various tasks in the church.
Toward the preachers, we must recognize the sacrifices they make in their lives. It is true that many preachers feel a need to proclaim the truth that they cannot quite explain, but that does not mean they have not made sacrifices to fulfill that desire. Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah, saying, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). If God inspired one of His prophets to call a man’s feet beautiful, should we not support that man in his work?
Paul tells the young preacher how to treat others in the congregation, and his words should ring true for all: “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger as sisters, with all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
Remember, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).