We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3
What an amazing testimony, and from someone other than themselves.
When was the last time someone mentioned how your faith has grown exceedingly?
Faith grows when you put God to the test; when you stand on His promises and do not flinch in the face of opposition; when you are tempted and stand tall through your trial. It would have felt overwhelmingly wonderful for them to experience their shepherd commending them in a letter.
There is a saying from an old book that people do good work who feel good about themselves. I think much good work would have emerged from this tribe after this letter.
Charity in this verse is rendered in the Greek the same as 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter. Some virtues of charity are mentioned in verse 13 of which we could take note:
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things,
believeth all things,
hopeth all things,
endureth all things”
What marvellous attributes for which to be distinguished by your own shepherd.
We can use this passage as a guide for our own growth in these two important areas.
Today’s prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for these attributes recognised by Paul. Please help me today to work on these two qualities and build both of them up in my life, not so I can be recognised, but that I can be more valuable to your kingdom.