26 August 2015
Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4; Psalm 48
9 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! 10 You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it. 11 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. 12 We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends. (1 Thessalonians 4:9–12 MSG)
This is not rocket science, friends! Christians are called to live in community – Life Together. This means we get to know each other really well – too well sometimes! To live well in community, we have to learn to get along with each other even after we begin to discover things about each other that just irritate the socks off us!
The secret for getting along with each other – wait for it – is: Just Love One Another! It seems that the simplest things can be the most challenging. Here’s how Paul said it when he was addressing the same issue with the church in Ephesus: (We’ll probably look at this again when we get to his letter to the Ephesians…)
29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. 30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. 31 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. 32 Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29–32 MSG)
Paul says that we’re God-taught how to love each other, how to get along. In the words of one of my mentors, Richard Rohr, “We don't think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.”
Or in the words of Jim Stephens, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know.”
Father, Help me to love others as you love me. I really want to do better at this. Paul said, “Keep it up; get better and better at it.” Please help me and my friends to do that today. Amen.