All That Matters

matters 3Galatians 5:6 “… The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.”

Two things. Just two things.

Some of us have a penchant for making life complicated. We parse every word, speculate on every motive. We assess ourselves, our spouses, our friends. Our finances, our failures, our futures. I teach at a Bible college where theological debates abound around every jot and tittle of Scripture. And although I enjoy a hearty discussion as much as anyone, Francis Schaeffer often said the big questions and answers can be reduced to a few. The most profound truth often lies in simplicity.

When Paul commended the church at Thessalonica, he expressed thankfulness for two things: they were growing in faith and increasing in love (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Even in the midst of affliction and persecution, they overflowed with what really mattered. The two virtues of faith and love were so apparent in the Thessalonians that Paul concluded it evidenced they were worthy of God’s kingdom. Faith and love matter. Expanding faith and love matter even more.

I can’t help but wonder if a lot of what we face in life pivots on learning to walk in growing faith and increasing love. Maybe God wants to shrink our complex situations down to size, to lead us to the bottom line, to use all our convoluted situations to simply teach us how to move from meager faith to much, from paltry love to profuse. Getting a handle on the significance of these two things changes our perspective of everything…

When we encounter either real or imagined rejection we ask—does God want to use this situation to increase our faith and love? When our beliefs are misunderstood—is this purposed to increase our faith and love? When we experience difficulty with a co-worker does a bigger issue lie at the root that is intended to increase our faith and love? And what about those days when all goes well? Could the blessings also be the means to move us toward greater faith and love?

Such questions give us a peek into what’s important to God. And what ought to be important to us. They direct us to look beneath the veneer of circumstances and discover the solid wood.

May you and I be like those Thessalonians who were commended for what really matters…

Two things. Just two things.

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