14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.16 Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
Such words of wisdom I can take into my life in these verses so i thought I would stop here for the week. If my desire is to grow more Christlike, then my responses have to grow more loving. As Pastor James teaches us, where its hardest to love in your life, you're most like our Savior when you choose love as your response.
This verse commands us not to repay anyone evil for evil, so if I am disrespected by my children, wronged by my family, disregarded by my husband, or deceived by a co-worker, I am commanded here to respond in love. I cannot give evil back to them despite the fact that my flesh is screaming they deserve it.
It doesn't mean I have to just allow or accept the behavior without a response - God doesn't call us to be a doormat - but my response cannot be evil. I cannot scream in anger, shut out in hurt, or gossip in revenge. I have to respond in a way that seeks to do good. That kind of unconditional response is impossible without Him - no wonder it says just two short verses later to pray without ceasing!
I am learning to recognize the moment as a trigger and walk away rather than responding, then when I've worked through the emotional response by bringing it to Him, I am in a much better place to respond in love. I'm far from perfect in this - I have a long way to go before I can say I am like my Savior, but He is growing me tremendously in this area.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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