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Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with
brotherly love, in honour preferring one another:”
Romans chapters 1-11 are the
doctrinal chapters of the book. Romans chapters 12-16 are the practical
chapters or chapters of application of this book. Normally, the interpretation
of verse 10 would be to give in. Certainly that is taught in the Scriptures. We
are not to take a brother to civil court is certainly taught in I Corinthians
6-1-6, which is in essence giving in. However, verse 10 is not speaking about
giving in and letting someone have their way. 
Abraham and Lot’s controversy
with the herdsman fighting is not the proper application of this verse. Jacob
and Esau with their twenty years of broken fellowship ending with Jacob
deciding to go back to Esau and ask for forgiveness with his gifts for Esau is
not an example of this passage.
We emphasize the words
“preferring one another” but there are other words penned there too. It says,
“in honour preferring one another.” When there is an honor you would rather
someone else have it rather than you. It is not about giving in when two people
have a disagreement. This verse uses on purpose the word “honour.” This simply
means having no ambition for position or power or title.
In honour
preferring one another
ambition preferring one another
In title
preferring one another
In power
preferring one another
position preferring one another

This would mean
possessing no aspirations for promotion to another title. But preacher should
not a person have dreams? Yes, but not for power, title, or a position. One
should dream about doing more not being more!
I am thinking
of some dear staff people who served with me for almost three decades at the
Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas, such as Mrs. Jennifer Petticoffer.
When I was installed as pastor she was a 16-year-old young lady. One Sunday our
piano player gave me a 3-page resignation letter and walked out of the
auditorium after a 15-minute offertory. 

I called Jennifer that Sunday afternoon
and asked her to play the piano. As a teenager she stepped in and did the best she
could do. Later on I asked her to give herself to not only the piano, but also
the music ministry. She did and eventually became LBT’s Music Coordinator. She
had over 70 singing groups, 40 piece orchestra, 70 voice adult choir, a dozen
youth choirs, as well as Texas Baptist College music program, and then
eventually Dean of Women. AMAZING! She took a simple job with a simple title
and then quickly became in her field a nationally known Music Coordinator.
Petticoffer worked a little harder, a little more, and that hard work has
promoted her not a seeking of power or a title on her part! She did not become
known by being promoted, but by perfecting her work and doing it better. She
took a job of playing for the congregation to preparing specials and 30 years
later is nationally known!
God is saying
His children ought to have ambition to work harder, produce more, and forget
the titles. God wants His children to let Him take care of the title.
In honor
preferring one another or ones desire for promotion ought to be the promoting
of oneself to do more than one is doing, rather than being more! Dr. C. W. Fish
is a prime example of this. When Dr. Jack Hyles needed a custodian at the First
Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, he hired C. W. Fisk. This new hire became a
proficient personal soul winner with many converts walking the aisles of the
great First Baptist Church. This new hire became so valuable that Dr. Hyles had
to promote him to Associate Pastor. C. W. Fisk did nothing but do more without ever asking to be more!
Quit aspiring
to titles, positions, and make your current title or position more valuable.
Give it all you have! Elevate your title and position by the work you do. Make
your work produce more and you will promote the title you currently have been
given without even realizing it you will have a greater title without a
Think with me
for a minute? Moody Church, Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan,
Highland Park Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, and
First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas were probably the most influential
churches in America. 

Moody Church of Chicago, Illinois, was pastored by Dr. H.
A. Ironside, Temple Baptist Church was pastored by Dr. G. B. Vick, Highland
Park Baptist Church was pastored by Dr. Lee Roberson, First Baptist Church of
Fort Worth, Texas, was pastored by Dr. J. Frank Norris, and First Baptist Church
of Dallas, Texas, was pastored by Dr. W. A. Criswell.
Who followed
these men of God? When these men died or resigned every one wanted those
pastorates but the title, position, and power went down to the level of the new
pastor as well as the church they became pastor of!
Churches do not
build men it is men who build churches! In honor preferring one another put on
the bottom shelf simply means one does not become upset because he is not
elected to the a deacon. If one is aspiring for a title, a position, and for
power he will lose because the work will fall to his work level.
Bible Fellowship-founded by Dr. G. B. Vick
Baptist Fellowship-founded by Dr. Lee Roberson
Association of Regular Baptist-founded by Dr. Bob Ketchum
Baptist Association-founded by Dr. Myron Cedarholm
All of these men were nationally
known not because they were the head of their particular group. I can prove
this statement by asking the question, “Who followed them?” I doubt if very few
reading this chapter, familiar with the previous movement of independent
Baptists, can name their successors.
These men listed worked so hard
that their work sustained their title and position so that when they died the
work fell to the next worker’s level of work! That is why I would often say
when Dr. Hyles was living that the preachers around America had best quit
hoping Dr. Hyles would die so they could become the pastor.
Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it
with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in
the grave, whither thou goest.”
your work and you automatically elevate your title
people who are absorbed with getting the work done are not title seekers
wasting time aspiring for a title, position, or power
your work and you work will promote you without a new title
Allow me to give you an example.
Pastor Homer Richie replaced Dr. J. Frank Norris as pastor of the famous First
Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas. He was greeted by 3,000 people in
attendance his first Sunday. There was another pastor who was the same age as
Homer Richie who pastored some thirty miles away. His name was Jack Hyles!
Pastor Hyles was the same age as Pastor Homer Richie and on the very same Sunday
Jack Hyles was greeted by 44 people as he started as the new pastor of the
Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. Those two churches passed each
other but were going in different directions.
Take notice of this! Every church
Jack Hyles took was running less than the one he left and in this day and time
that is unheard of! Each church provided a greater opportunity, but they were
numerically running less. The dear church I left up north to come to Texas was
running more than Longview Baptist Temple was even though there was no
comparison facility wise and population wise. The child of God’s goals ought to
be work goals not title goals. The goals ought to be production goals and not
position goals. If you have to remind me of your title you have not earned your title.
What is the opposite of “in
honour preferring one another”
? It is the mother of James and John approaching
Jesus and asking that her sons sit on the right hand and left hand in the
kingdom! What is the opposite, a man in a local church who becomes upset at not
being selected for a position? In honor, or in position, or in title is God’s
desire for his children. 

Preferring someone else over ones’ self! What is the
opposite, a preacher turning on his college because he was not recommended for
an honorary Doctor’s degree? What is the opposite, a person leaving his church
because he was not chosen Superintendent of a Sunday school department?
Simply it means when it comes to
honor, position, or title we are to prefer someone else to receive the position
or title. When it comes to work let your work sustain your title or position
and let greater works build your title into a greater title. 

I did not seek the
Longview Baptist Temple. I was merely passing through town taking a deacon’s
nephew to the Roloff Homes for some help with his addiction. I did not seek a
National Soul Winning Clinic. The Clinic started with my good friend Dr. Howard
Hall of Shreveport Baptist Temple bringing his staff over to discuss how to reach more people and baptize
more converts.
Psalm 75:6-7, “For promotion cometh neither from the east,
nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge that putteth down
one, and setteth up another.”
is as overrated as a title, position, or power
your work and you automatically elevate your title
people who get the work done are not title seekers
wasting time aspiring for a title, position, or power
your work and your work will promote you
down and go to work and let the work go to work for you

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