There are times when I deeply wish I could speak like Paul wrote his letters. How can someone say something that cuts so deep but at the same time is so full of love and grace that you want to hear and accept everything they say? Of course, maybe because I am not in the church of Thessalonica, I just try to play the bystander to keep myself feeling good. I certainly can’t say that nothing Paul said applies to me, it all does.
The whole point of this chapter is to remind the church of their deep call to growing sanctification and holiness. I know I can only speak for myself, but there are days that feel like I have taken two steps back instead of one step forward. Maybe I responded in anger to something someone did or maybe I did something to cause someone anger. Maybe I shared unfair harsh criticism of someone else or maybe I responded to criticism poorly. Maybe I chose my own feelings or thoughts over someone else’s. I chose to love myself over loving others.
Whatever it may have been, I know my own deep need for ongoing personal sanctification. I am thankful for the (sometimes deeply cutting) words of scripture that remind me of this great call. Friend, don’t bypass all rebuke because it is rebuke. Sometimes God uses his word to cut deeply and remove the sin that separates us from him. Let God’s Word do the work. I am praying God’s holiness for you today.