Chapter-a-Day 1 Thessalonians 3

Beaver Dam, Arkansas with floodgates open
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And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NLT)

In my work, I’m constantly encouraging people to improve their service to customers. As I coach individuals, it is not uncommon for some of them to get frustrated. They want to be deemed as “good enough” in the quest for service excellence. But, like all who pursue excellence in their endeavors, the term “continuous improvement” is more than a catch phrase. It does not diminish a persons achievements or belittle the good job they are doing. It merely points out the fact that there is always room to hone our skills, improve our consistency and reach for new heights.

In our spiritual lives, I find the same struggle. There are those I meet along the path who simply want to be bestowed with the mantle of “good enough.” No introspection. No thought. No sanding down rough edges. No struggle to put away foolish, childish ways and reach for new levels of wisdom and maturity. “Give me an easy path,” I hear them saying. “How about a straight path and a level road that won’t take too much work. In fact, can you put me on one of those moving walkways like they have at the airport so I can just stand there and let it propel me through life?”

But the faith journey is not like that. It is the path of continuous improvement. It requires attention, vigilance, introspection, and constant diligence. Just when you feel good about how far you’ve come, you realize that the path had not come to and end. You’ve not reached the finish line. It’s only a waypoint. The path leads on towards the horizon; further up and further in.

Jesus said that there are two great commands that are the pinnacle. They are the sum of all of life’s rules:

  • Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
  • Love others as you love yourself

Love overflowing. Love emanating from the deepest wellspring of our being. Purely intentioned, sacrificial love pouring out in torrents like water through reservoir floodgates thrown open wide as if to empty the lake and permanently change everything downstream that lies in its earth-changing wake. Love in every thought. Love in every word. Love in every act.

Let me know when you reach thatpoint. Otherwise, let’s strain to open the floodgates a little wider, and let’s keep pressing on.

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