“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” (3:5)
Chapter two was doomsday and chapter three seemed a bit harsh. I grabbed on to this lovely verse near the middle.
I don’t always know what to do with Paul’s specific and rigid instructions . If I take it all literally, I conveniently know a church in Thessaloniki and I could barge in there and say, “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either!” (3:10) but that would come across grossly insensitive because Greece has a 60% unemployment rate, with the unemployment for people 35 years and younger being 85%. Everyone is just out to coffee with their man bun in that city! It’s hard to know who is unwilling and who is unable.
That’s why I think 3:5 is a great supervising verse. Praying that the Lord direct us, is an excellent habit and place to start. Being directed into the love of God adds compassion and peels away pride. Being directed into the steadfastness of Christ produces patience and removes entitlement.
Ask to the Lord to direct you into these, so you can be a good example of hard work and encouragement. Don’t push people away, like they’re enemies (3:15), and don’t grow weary of doing good (3:13).
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all… The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” (3:16,18)