Generous Brotherly and Sisterly Love
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
In one paragraph, Paul says to serve one another with brotherly love and to mind our own business. What? Yep, it’s possible.
One of the best ways to serve others is to not over do it. At the same time, non-manipulative care is some of the best stuff in the world.
Here’s what I mean. We all know that family member that buys you a Christmas present and then watches closely to see how you like it. If you don’t respond the right way, you get the vengeance!
As we serve and love our neighbors and care for those in need, we aren’t always going to get the big happy thank you and the warm fuzzy feelings. That doesn’t mean we stop. That doesn’t mean we don’t check on them again. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have served.
When it comes to caring for people in need, you are immediately diving into a culture that is full of hurt and paybacks. To serve without expecting a payback is alien in this world, to say the least.
That is where the holiness and purity comes in. If I serve my neighbor so that they’ll take care of me next week, I’ve put a price tag on my love. If I help a lonely shut-in because of the warm fuzzy feeling I get, I’m manipulating my moods to rule over my service.
Jesus Christ is Lord, and He has given us an example of how to serve one another. When service is accepted, we give it generously. We aren’t dependent on their response or dependent on their acceptance.
That kind of brotherly love (come on, and sisterly!) has a transforming effect on all of us.
Yesterday Bret suggested we try to meet up, in a chat or text or whatever, with 3 other One Lifers, every day! Imagine the way we could pass the time and build community if we did this!