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Related articles:
"Love For One Another"
"Brotherly Love"

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"Love For One Another"

Larry Ray Hafley

Paul thanked God for the Thessalonians that the love "of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (2 Thess. 1:3). Their love for each other came in the midst of "persecutions and tribulations" (2 Thess. 1:4).

Suffering can bind us together, or it can split us apart. If we are selfish and feel sorry for ourselves, troublesome times can makes us envious and bitter toward others. If we have the love of Christ, trials can serve as glue to strengthen our unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The Thessalonians were united in love for the Lord and for one another. Insults and afflictions did not cause them to turn on one another in frustration. Rather, their faith, hope, and love increased as their tormentors unleashed their arsenal of aggravation.

How is it with us? When challenges of injustice and unfairness assault us, when our hearts are torn and bleeding, do we become hateful and unkind, or do we seek to comfort another who is in worse shape than we are? What would the Lord do? What would he have us to do?

Because of their great faith and love in the midst of meanness, Paul said, "we...glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure" (2 Thess. 1:4). Their refusal to bow to bitterness and to be overcome by unreasonable and wicked men served as an example to other churches. Could the same be said of us?

Understand that the devil seeks to hurt and harm us. He will be content if our pain causes us to turn on one another. If we snarl and snipe at one another with harsh, hateful language and with scowling, scornful looks, he will be satisfied. The devil may not be able to cause us to teach false doctrine, but if he can spoil our hearts and sour our attitudes toward one another, he will have accomplished his purpose. Thankfully, the Thessalonians did not allow this to happen. Will we?

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