VS 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
Vs 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak,
not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
Vs 7 “we (Paul and those with him) were gentle among you (the Thessalonians), like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”
Vs 11 “like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Paul clearly loves the Thessalonians. Not only does he love them, he’s very confident in their relationship with each other and their relationship with God.
Paul is willing to sometimes act gently with them like a nursing mother or to exhort and encourage like a father.
Paul’s confidence is not only in the truth of his message, but the foundation of their relationship.
He can treat them like family.
Because it is God who is calling them all into His kingdom, into His family.
What do I base the confidence of my relationships on?
Do I even have the confidence in my relationships to treat people like family or do I stay on the surface too often?
I’m afraid, too often it’s the latter.
But why?… Because close relationships are difficult.
Proximity brings complexity!
Closeness requires vulnerability.
Good close relationships must have authenticity, accountability, forgiveness, exhortation, grace, and especially love.
But if I “walk in a manner worthy of the calling of God”, should any of these things be difficult?
I am in the kingdom of God, the family of God, a child of God.
There is no more confident place or position to be than a child of the King!
I carry the Love of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God in me.
This is everything I need to empower me to confidently live out the calling of God with those around me.
Thank you, God, for making us family.
Thank you for giving me a family to help me see you every day.
Help me to encourage others as you encourage me.
Help me to be gentle with others as you’re gentle with me.
Help me to love others the way you love me.
In Jesus name.