Verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8
“Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”
Have you every watched a mother with her young children? Or been one? Or fed an infant a bottle? What precious, tender moments those are! What love overflows in our hearts! These little ones are helpless and depend upon our care and nourishment. A mom literally gives of her own body to nurse her baby. A dad would lay down his life to protect his child. The whole journey of being a parent is that of self sacrifice. This is how the apostles saw their spiritual children.
The apostles had many reasons to boast, to seek glory, and to make demands. But instead they served in love with gentle affections toward the Thessalonians. Giving all of the glory to God.
We all have spiritual children in our lives. Basically anyone who is in the sphere of our influence, who is affected by our actions and example. So how are we doing?
I think this quote is a good heart check for all of us:
If we desire a simple test of the quality of our spiritual life, a consideration of the tranquility, gentleness and strength with which we deal with the circumstances of our outward life will serve us better than anything that is based on the loftiness of our religious notions, or the fervor of our religious feelings. It is a test that can be applied anywhere and at any time: tranquility, gentleness and strength.
– from The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill
Jesus himself was the perfect example of strength and power under the control of unconditional love. He gave of himself as he spoke the good news from the Father and he gave the ultimate gift of his very life for us. When we see people through the eyes of Jesus—through the eyes of love—giving of ourselves looks and feels completely different.
Jesus, help us to see all those around us through your eyes. Help us to be spiritual mothers and fathers who are filled with peace, tender affection and gentle strength. Show us how to share the gospel as we share of our very lives.
Author: Michela Brownell