Devotional Thought : 1 Thessalonians 2:8
… we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well … 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Paul’s letters were often personal, like this one to the Thessalonians. This is somewhat surprising as it appears Paul only spent a short time with them (Acts 17:2) yet he has connected with them emotionally as well as spiritually. Later when Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the Macedonians (which also includes the Philippians) he said, “And they went beyond our expectations; having given themselves first of all to the Lord, they gave themselves by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
God included in the New Testament letters which show us the emotional connections between believers. It demonstrates God expects us to develop strong relationships with other believers. Over the last couple of months, Selwyn Hughes’ writings in Every Day With Jesus have covered the topic of The Nature of the Spiritual Journey. One of the steps in our spiritual journey Selwyn identifies is, developing interpersonal relationships. Selwyn writes this, “I regarded other people as the cause of many of my problems. But then I realised that relationships do not so much cause problems as reveal problems.” Relationships teach us about our willingness to be Christ-like. They give us the opportunity of expanding our understanding of God.
It’s important we share our lives with other believers, even though the number of people we can share deeply with, is limited. Nevertheless, we need to have a few believers in our lives who are also dear friends. Paul sets the example we aren’t just to share issues of faith with each other but also our very lives.