Walk Honestly

In the Gospel of John chapter 13 and verse 35,Jesus tells his disciples (and by extension us) how to let the world know that we belong to him.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”

This is a really easy passage of scripture to memorize. If you do not already have it as one of your goto verses, it is a good one to put there. Memorizing scripture is a very good way for us to battle the temptations of this world, but we need to know how to actually accomplish that scripture, or apply it when necessary.

My question to you: Do you know what it takes to have brotherly love?

The Thessalonians knew, for Paul encouraged them to take what they already had and build upon it. We can find this in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.

“(9)But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (10) And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; (11) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”

I see two basic principles in these few verses, that teach us how to show brotherly love to our fellow man and they both come down to one simple statement; that being, walking honestly.

The first thing that Paul exhorts is discretion. He says that we should study to be quiet and do our own business. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 and verses one through seven tell us, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Things like, a time to break down, and a time to build up in verse three. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance in verse four. In verse five we are told there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing and in verse seven he simply states, a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.

I wonder, with Paul’s extensive educational background, if he thought of The Preacher and his words when he wrote these few verses to the Thessalonians… Discretion is extremely important if we are to walk honestly!

The second thing that Paul tells us, in increasing our brotherly love, is to work with our own hands. Why would this be so important?

In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, it seems that there were some that did not heed his words from the first epistle, for he says in chapter three and verse 10, if any would not work, nether should he eat. Too much time on our hands causes us to walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. This is not an attitude of brotherly love!

For all men to know that we are Christ’s disciples, we must work and work hard. Romans 12:11

(11) Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord

As disciples of Christ, our goal is to preach the gospel (Mt. 28.19-20). We will not be effective in this, if those we interact with do not recognize that we have love. Two very distinct ways we can prove our love to our fellow man, is by being discreet and working hard. This shows that we are Walking Honestly towards all and will help us bring others to Christ!

Let’s endeavor to be discrete, minding our own business and work hard. Let’s endeavor to Walk Honestly, so we can fulfill John 13.35!


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