President’s Letter: One Another
Jim Dunn, President
Even in a season of isolation, we are not alone.
Nine months into my new role serving Oklahoma Wesleyan University as president, I found myself staring at a screen for hours on end, hundreds of thoughts demanding my attention. The world had literally shut down due to the threats of the global pandemic. I wondered when I would be able to laugh and pray with students and colleagues again. I was losing my ability to think big because of the decisions that had to be made in the midst of uncertainty.
It was a time when I felt all alone. With God as my helper in all things, I wasn’t.
Did you know that the most common two-word phrase in the New Testament English Bible is “one another?” It’s used 100 times in 94 New Testament passages. These passages give instructions to followers of Jesus or deal with church members getting along. They instruct Christians to love, commanding an attitude of humility and deference among believers.
One another. It’s two words in English, but only one in Greek. The transliteration of the word from Greek to English (ah-LAY-loan) almost sounds like “All Alone.”
Here, then, is that biblical truth I mentioned:
God never intended us to be alone. We are not all alone. Thank the Lord that the presence of His Holy Spirit is with us always!
We were made to be in relationship with God and others. To be loved by Christ is constant in prevenient grace, as well as when we repent of sin and accept Him into our lives. We need that love.
We need others to humbly invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit in prayer. There are times, whether we admit it or not, when we simply need another’s help, and when others need ours. Our lives are richer because of these relationships.
We need one another for instruction. We mature as we are able to process the events of life with others who are often older and wiser.
We need one another to be held accountable—biblically, personally, and corporately. In this current day of abundant opinions, words, and division, we need each other to point us to God’s truth. Biblically, we need to see others first and foremost as image bearers of God Almighty. We need the Holy Spirit, as well as one another, to speak the truth in love to us when we err or sin. We need others to warn us when we are disobedient to God’s truth. The world needs Christians to stop talking about people and start talking to them, offering the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ in every conversation.
Living it Out
None of this is easy. Striving to live out the numerous “one another” commands in the New Testament prompts some reflective questions. Am I obeying the commands of biblical truth in every relationship—with God, family, neighbors, people who do not believe the same as me, or in my social media posts? In my interactions both inside and outside the church?
This year, that’s what we at OKWU are striving for—to model love, unity, respect, truth, righteousness, and biblical accountability on campus and in our worldwide OKWU family.
May we again steward well the privilege of going through life with Jesus Christ and with one another.