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Photo: Enigma Sport

"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Mutual affection and love

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith… mutual affection and to mutual affection, love; 2 Peter 5:5,7

The Greek word philadelphia has traditionally been translated, “brotherly love” and in more modern translations as loving one another or mutual affection. Godliness (which we looked at last week) cannot exist without mutual affection. John wrote (1 John 4: 20) that anyone who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar.

It means accepting people for what they are. It means no prejudice, gossip, no thinking we are superior to others. Peter is talking about loving fellow Christians but I think we can stretch it beyond its immediate context. In the sporting context it can be hard to love the coach who always seems to be down on you, the team-mate who has taken your place in the team, the official whose call you totally disagree with and the opponent who gloats in victory.

To show the importance of expressing our faith through loving one another, let us note a few other verses:

Have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1
You yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:9br Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

No one said it was going to be easy,

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