Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:
9 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. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, dear friends, to do so more and more,
Observation: This should be the hallmark of all the people of God, that we love one another.
Application: As I read through the scriptures this morning, this verse in particular stood out to me. This week I have been blessed by being reunited through Facebook with another of my close friends from high school. We have been discussing my earlier post He is God of All and I have really enjoyed conversing with him. Our discussion has been beneficial to me and I feel that I’ve grown from it.
Even though my discussion this week with my old friend has been great. I can’t help but to remember that during my high school years I had many difficult discussions with friends. I know that my friends meant well, and were honest in their concern for me, but these discussions would often turn into what I felt to be attacks on my faith and sincerity. It was a difficult time for me spiritually and emotionally, but over the years I have come to consider it as a time when my faith was tried, tested, and strengthened.
It comes to this; honest discussion is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t turn into an attack. We need to be careful that we are following Christ’s teaching in Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. this is the great commandment.
Within the universal Church, we are always going to have differences of opinion. I don’t think that in this life we will ever get to a point where all Christians, or all people of faith can agree on our theologies. I also think that this is a good thing, and that it is the way that God means for it to be. If we all thought the same, we would not be using the intelligence that God has blessed us with. I don’t think God wants Blind Faith – I think he wants us to reason among ourselves and work it out in our own way. Phi 2:12b …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
As much as I may believe I have something figured out for myself, there will always be someone with an opposing view who feels just as strongly about their ideas as I do about my own. If I am open and respectful to their opinion I may learn something new, and may even occasionally change my mind, but if I’m closed off and so sure of my own wisdom, all that can happen is an argument. It’s great to be able to discuss our differences and talk about them, and reason with each other. It is a faith building exercise to talk of spiritual things and I think we all have much to learn from one another. But we must enter our discussions with love, understanding and respect for each other. If we fail to do that, we are letting go of that glue that holds us together and sets us apart, which is (or should be) our love for one another.
Prayer: Gracious God,
Help me to be open to the teaching and wisdom you send my way through your people. Help me to listen with my spiritual ears to the still small voice that you speak to me with. Grant me the grace I need in order to always be loving in my relation to others so that I may show forth the love you have shown me to those around me who need that love. I thank you father that when we ask for wisdom, you provide it, and I ask for wisdom from your Scripture, and from your Spirit.
Yield: I surrender the “My Way or the Highway” attitude that I have sometimes had.