If you’re responsible for the well-being of others there’s one thing you know. Shepherding takes time. It’s not done on the fly or covered in a meeting.
Think through the descriptive list from Ezekiel 34. Searching for the lost. Strengthening the weak. Healing the sick. Dealing with discipline. Providing abundant food. This is hard work requiring diligence, prayer, patience, and love. It takes a lot out of you.
So, in the midst of all this commitment, who shepherds the shepherds?
This is where the “one anothers” come in. Though shepherds bear responsibility for the flock, they’re also part of the flock. There’s no privileged class among God’s people. Rather, we’re all privileged to share in loving one another. Submitting to one another. Comforting one another. Serving one another. Praying for one another. And so on. (For more, see below.)
A healthy gathering of Christ’s followers will invest in one another so that everyone gains strength and receives blessing (Ephesians 4:11-16). Another example of God’s love and wisdom — He designed us to relate to one another in ways that benefit everyone.
Here are additional “one anothers.” For more, or to review the biblical passages behind each one, simply Google “the one anothers of the Bible.”
Love; Be in harmony with; Submit to; Don’t judge; Accept; Comfort; Don’t lie to; Greet; Serve; Don’t hate; Pray for; Wait for; Don’t slander; Speak the truth in love; Forgive; Bear with; Don’t grumble against; Encourage and build up; Reconcile with; Live in peace with; Be patient with; Be kind to; Spur on toward love and good deeds; Don’t give up meeting together; Confess your sins to; Walk in the light to have fellowship with; Be devoted to; Honor above yourselves; Be humble toward; Offer hospitality to; Instruct; Teach; Admonish; and so on . . .