As I was laying down today wishing I could let my mind stop thinking about everything and take a short nap before Anna would wake up I decided to read some scriptures with the youversion bible app (which is free). Upon reading I discovered this verse in 1 Thes. 1:3
3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
I thought it was odd to have the words 'work' and 'labor' next to each other. I thought how repetitive. So I used the Blue Letter Bible app (which is free as well) to look up the Greek meaning. What I found was crazy! So the word for work means your actual place of business or whatever you do for a living pretty much. The word for Labor means to cause one trouble or intense labor along with trouble and toil! I thought to myself, holy cow, that is so true. Let's be real...sometimes it is really hard to love people.
Why is it so hard to love?
I think it is because it is such an intense emotion that you get caught up in. It makes you vulnerable to be hurt because you put so much effort into showing your love. And as a christian we are called to love and most of the time it coincides with our flesh, (our own will, earthly nature vs. spiritual nature) I think it is really easy to forget what manner of spirit we are. I was letting anxiety of 'what I don't want to do' overtake me. I realized that Loving others doesn't always involve what I want but esteeming others over myself. This could apply in friendships, family relationships, marriage, you name it!
I think this verse brought perspective in my life and reminded me that love isn't always easy. It's hard work. Paul was admonishing the church of Thessalonica for their Faith, Love and Patience. Now those are three really neat things to be known for. And let's just say for the Holidays I think those are 3 important things to live by and be thankful for.
Work of faith--- May your faith be evident at your place of employment, business, house, and in everything you do.
labor of love-- May you love out of the overflow of God's love even though it will be painful and intense at times to love those closest to you or far away from you. May you continue to show grace and God's lovingkindness in the hardest times.
Patience of hope--- May you not grow weary, but continue with patience knowing the hope of God's calling.
Entering into Thanksgiving and Christmas, May your life be a testimony of your Faith in God, may you love even when it gets tough, and may your patience of hope in God sustain you.