And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV).
I listened to a sermon that my friend, Patrick, gave over the weekend and the dominant theme of it was that the life God has planned for us is much better than the ones we have planned for ourselves. He tells the story of going into an auto dealer with one agenda, talking with a sales agent, and then returning to the store the next day only to have the agent tell him “thanks, you really helped me yesterday.” My friend didn’t even know he’d said or done anything helpful.
Isn’t that always the case? It seems like the perfect reason for this verse, doesn’t it? We don’t know when we might be helping someone (but God does), so we should simply live our lives in Godly ways and not tire of doing those good, Godly things. They matter. People are watching.
Today is 9/11. You know what that means; you know what happened that day. It’s a day for remembering those who died who didn’t deserve to. Firemen and police, Port Authority workers, brokerage house staffers, shift workers in uniform, flight attendants and pilots, innocent airline passengers: all of them senselessly murdered out of true hatred.
And in the 17 years since, it is the good those people did, the good for which they’re remembered, that matters so much more than the hateful terrorist freaks who murdered them. Folks who worked in the Pentagon or the World Trade Center had no idea what would happen that day. Nobody who died on Flight 93 knew what would happen; nobody who survived that day knew what would happen in the days and years to come. But most people DID keep on doing what is good. The people who rushed in to help, the millions who gave blood, the people who worked to build back: they never tired of doing what is good.
They are still not tired.
So much of the air in our public life today is taken up by busybodies. ALL of social media is comprised of busybodies, and we’ve each been those small people. Yet even this pales in comparison to the selfless love of Jesus shown by caring, by working out the fruits of His Spirit such as kindness, patience, goodness and the rest. Those things matter more than all the gossip, or troubles, or hateful beliefs that have nothing to do with peace. They matter even more than losing dear loved ones. With God’s Spirit guiding what we think and do, the life we can have is indeed so much better than the small, petty lives we try to insist for ourselves.
God bless the families, dearly lost, and surviving friends of 9/11.
For further reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:14.
Lord, bless those who died and those who lived to pick up the pieces. Help us all to better live out Your Spirit especially on this day.