I was the gunner for a three man crew pulling rear security on a convoy mission that lasted four hours from Kuwait into Iraq. The year was 2008, this was my only deployment in my service, and it was time for our first mission. Our team was the rear eyes of the entire convoy, which consisted of forty plus civilian driven semi-trucks, being escorted by four military armored 1151-humvees. I was a little scared for my life because I was the most vulnerable in our truck team if there was a gunfight. I was alert, head on the swivel, and scanning continuously with my spotlight as we exited the safe zone. The one thing that comforted me at that time was my confidence in the ability and courage of my fellow soldiers. I had three months of training together with them before the real deal. By the time of our first real mission, we had learned to trust one another.
This trust in each other did not develop on its own. At first, we did not know each other very well, yet our mission required cohesion. So it took hard work, sacrifice, and patience for us to develop our relationship and to operate as a unit. The more we knew about each other, the more we trusted and depended on each other.
I share this development of trust and dependency in between soldiers because there is no difference between the physical warfare and the spiritual warfare. The spiritual mission requires unity among Christians. Division does not preach Christ’s message, but unity does (John. 17:21). Division among soldiers can result in the loss of lives on the battlefield. Christians ought to learn to develop good relationships with one another in order to carry out the mission of spreading the Gospel (Matt. 28:18-20). As soldiers needed to know each other, Christians all the more because of eternity. As soldiers had their battle buddies to depend on, Christians have God, His word, prayer, and one another to depend on. We must invest our time in getting to know each other regardless of the differences in our personality. There are many passages of scriptures that instruct us to treat each other in a Christlike manner. Notice how we are to treat each other:
- Love one another…“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35 KJV)
- Pray for one another…“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV)
- Be kind one to another…“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Romans 12:10 KJV)
- Serve one another…“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Gal 5:13 KJV)
- Forbear one another…“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” (Ephesians 4:2 KJV)
- Forgive one another…“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13 KJV)
- Teach and Warn one another….“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16 KJV)
- Edify and Comfort one another…“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV)
- Care for one another…“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25 KJV)
How can we provide for a brother’s need if we do not know that he is in need? How can we know he is in need if we do not try to get to know him? Should we wait for him to come to us? Opportunities to show love, situations to exercise mercy, and responsibility to serve, will exist if we are trying to get to know one another. Take the initiative and invite those who never came over for dinner. Offer a ride to those who walk to the services. Talk to those whom you have not said a word to for a long time or at all. Create your opportunities to serve others by getting to know them. Christians need to work together to help each other make it to Heaven. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 KJV) We can do this my brethren. To God be the glory.