Verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Yesterday Michela wrote beautifully about being like mothers and fathers to those around us, “filled with peace, tender affection and gentle strength”. I love that between yesterday’s passage and todays, Paul first uses the imagery of a nursing mother, and now he’s also using the imagery of a kind father. One who encourages, comforts, and urges (instructs) his children. When parents are motivated by love, they are always thinking about their children, how to provide for them and how to model the life they want for them. Paul uses himself, Silas, and Timothy as an example of this when he talks about working hard to provide financially so their “children” didn’t have to take on that burden. As well when he reminds them that in their relationships and interactions among them they were “holy, righteous, and blameless”.
I love this as the standard and inspiration of how we should be with each other. And always, what makes this even more powerful, is to remember that anything good or loving that we do in our relationships, has first been done or given to us by God. That He’s the one who cherishes us like a nursing mother does with her baby. That He’s the one who is encouraging, comforting, and instructing us like a kind, present father. He’s the one who has done the work to provide for us, that “every good and perfect gift is from above”. He’s the one who is blameless in his relationship with us, showing us who we are as his sons and daughters. Truly seeing him as he is with us, enables us to really see others as they are and to treat them accordingly.
Father please help me to hear your encouragement, comfort and instruction today. Help me to really see you as you are, like a nurturing mother and an encouraging father. And help me to in turn see others as they truly are, as you’ve made them. Help me to be like you in my interactions and relationships today.
Author: Christine Robinson