I was reading through the 4th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Thessaloniki and came across these words in verses 9-10.
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more… I Thess. 4:9- 10
Can we ever love enough? The early church was know for their tremendous love for one another. Their mutual love even attracted the attention of non-believers. One Roman historian wrote, “See how much they love each other!” We know that mutual love is one of the hallmarks of Christian faith, but can we love more and more? Is there more to learn about loving one another. I think maybe there is.
A member of our church sent me an article today about the stress on families due to reopening! The author said she was actually feeling more stress as things open than she did when everything was shut down. Now she has to make decisions for herself and her family. She is bombarded with differing information about what’s safe and what’s not and aware the risks of making a mistake could be catastrophic for her family. Such stress is repeated at every level of society. We are all trying our best to figure out what is safe and what is not and worried about the choices we make.
At such times, when we find ourselves stressed, it’s easy to be short tempered. We get irritated with others who make different decisions or who pressure us to change our opinions. Our patience with change is stretched about as thin as it can go, and so our love for one another may be in shorter supply than usual.
In these days, it is well to remember Paul’s encouragement to love more and more. “Love is patient and kind,” says Paul in another well-known passage. We may have to really get focused if we are to be patient and kind – particularly when we don’t all agree on what’s right. When you next find yourself on the edge of a small temper tantrum, I recommend you close your eyes, take a deep breath and say, “Jesus loves me. This I know.” Perhaps remembering the love of God for you will help you find some love to give away to the one nearest you.
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