3.12-13 “And as for you, may the Lord make you increase and overflow in love toward each other, indeed, toward everyone, just as we do toward you; so that he may give you the inner strength to be blameless, by reason of your holiness, when you stand before God our Father at the coming of our Lord Yeshua with all his angels.” This is another “so that” passage. Paul is praying for the Church that they may increase in love towards each other so that He may give us the strength to walk obediently! Not only does this line up with what Jesus says when He talks about the whole law summed up by Loving God and Loving man. But this really speaks into some of the things I feel God is teaching me lately. I have been challenged in my attitude towards relationships lately. I think I’ve begun to privatise my faith and focus on developing my own walk with God. But part of the reason God wants us to be Spiritual mature is so that we can live out our faith in love towards others! And this verse tells us that when this love overflows God gives us the strength to walk obediently. I know this sounds very circular! Also what this verse tells us is that God is at work in both parts. Not only is He “mak[ing] you increase…in love”, but also He is “giv[ing] you inner strength to be blameless!” …. We are totally dependent on Him!
5.12-14 These verse again are speaking into relationships with other people. And I really liked the different words it used. Respect those who are working hard (particularly those who are trying to help you change). Confront those who are lazy, that they may change. Encourage those who are timid. Assist the weak. And be Patient with everyone. As I think about which of these feels like the biggest challenge to me. I think it’s the patience one. I find myself getting angry quite easily with people who take a long time, whether it’s in the queue or getting to the point. Often this is a small-hidden anger that no one notices. But it’s evidence of a lack of patience towards everyone. The respect part also made me think about how do I honour those who have invested in me, and nurtured my faith.