” We loved you so much that we were delighted not only to share with you the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Words Paul wrote to his beloved church in Thessalonica.
Have you ever been in ministry?
While it might seem glamourous to be in the spotlight or given a special task, but for most of us in ministry it’s an uncertain, prayerful, insecure, and ultimately obedient….ummmm, yes?
From my own experience, I can attest it wasn’t anything I sought out, ever wanted or saw myself doing. I was not prepared for this, raised for this, or born with an outgoing personality for this. Not only that, I struggle with “people pleasing”. For those of you in ministry, nod your head if you agree that ministry is not the place for a person who struggles with “people pleasing”. Are you with me?
Nevertheless, when we work for the Lord, whether it is big or small in our eyes, we are saying…
Yes, I will love and rave about you, Lord.
Yes, I will imitate you.
Yes, I will share your word.
Yes, I will serve you.
Yes, I will love others.
But there is more. So much more….and if we don’t allow the “more”, we are missing the big picture of what God wants us to do.
Paul says with all sincereity that he loved his church so much that he shared his life with them.
John 3:16 says:
” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God loved us so much….he shared his life and ultimately gave his life for us.
I don’t know about you, but this brings me to tears.
It also brings me to my knees convicting me that I have been in the position of “self-closure” in order to protect myself from getting hurt.
I’ll do all of these things Lord, but share my life with others? Really? What if they misunderstand me? Talk about me? Become competitive? Judge? Realize I’m not that awesome? Leave me?What if….what if….what if.
I’m fairly certain that many people in ministry or even just in general have a difficult time with sharing their lives with others because of the fears that come along with it. It would be very easy to fall into the trap of placing an invisible glass curtain (or in this case, screen) separating the servant from those being served. I’m here- you’re there. This is good. I love you, you love me…wave hi!!!
It just doesn’t work that way.
When we love, we need to love hard, be on the front lines, and leave the “what if thinking” behind us. We need to be “all about it”.
Going into the new year, I challenge you Ladies to do this….share your lives with others as an act of obedience to God. Paul loved the Thessalonians without question. In the position he was in, he could have been so easily rejected and forgotten. Not only that, God knew the final outcome when He came here in the flesh- He didn’t have to “what if”, yet He did it anyways knowing ….fully knowing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…..
Much love to you, Janelle