Tuesday, March 7, 2023
But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.
Have you ever heard someone say, "I guess I just love too much!" The person saying this phrase could have been explaining a codependent relationship or a situation where another person is repeatedly wounding or abusing them. They could be talking about someone close to them with an addiction. I've even had a very controlling person say something similar about their frustration with being unable to "arrange the best outcome" for someone.
These warped relationships are NOT examples of loving someone too much! Don't mistake obsessive, controlling, codependent, or victim-playing behaviors as love. These behaviors are more about a person's need to be significant or to manipulate others than about the ἀγάπη  love God shared with us in Jesus.  If we want to love appropriately, we should look at how Jesus loved others in His ministry and also how God has loved us in Jesus. 
Paul's centering point for the Christians he wrote in Thessalonica was God's love. The Father blessed them with His love by adopting them into His family through their faith in Jesus.  God had saved them through Jesus' sacrifice and liberated them from the worthless lives and worship that once held them captive.  God's example of love and the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts had taught them how to love each other. 
These Thessalonian Christians' repeatedly demonstrated their love through generosity, hospitality, and fellowship.  Their reputation for loving others was well known. Yet as good as they were at loving each other, Paul encouraged them "to love... even more." Why? Because we cannot love each other too much! In a world that sucks the life out of us while the evil one works to make us feel unlovable and ashamed for our mistakes, we need genuine love to pour into our lives. This love must be the foundation of every relationship we have in Jesus, and we must demonstrate this love with more than our religious-sounding talk. 
Father, You have faithfully proven Your great love for Your children throughout history. We know Your love for us will never fail. As your children, pray that our love will overflow. We want the world to see Your love flowing through us into the lives of those around us. We pray that our love will help people know that You love them and sent Your Son because of that great love. We thank You for demonstrating your love in Jesus and filling us with the Holy Spirit to empower our love for others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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