Let's pick back up in verse 9:
Love others well and don't hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil and pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor each other by putting others first.
This brings us back to the masks we spoke of at the Conference. Did you relate to the mask? Have you been evaluating areas of your life to see if you put on masks? Why would we put on maks anyway? Maybe to hide something...maybe to portray something as if it is something it's not...maybe to avoid something? Whatever it is, women are good at putting on masks. But as we read here, we are not to put on masks, we are to love each other authentically as sisters, and we are to live in devotion to each other.
Are you living authentically? Without masks? Are you living in devotion to your Destiny Friends?
Verse 11 continues:
11 Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over as you serve the Lord. Do not forget to rejoice for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming and devote yourselves to prayer.
We can't let up!! Plain and simple! We should be bubbling up and on fire for the things of God. THAT is becoming!! We need to hold each other up through the tough times because we know we have a hope in Christ and its just around the corner. Have you noticed how if you know when something hard is going to end, you can stick it out? If you are working out and you know you will be done climbing that stairclimber in 5 minutes, as tired as you are, you can stick it out since you have an end in sight. The same goes for the tough times in our lives. And despite the fact that we don't know when exactly tough times will end, we do know they will end and hope is around the corner - so encourage each other through those hard times.
And finally, verse 13 says this:
13 Share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others, even if they are outside your faith family.
"Even if they are outside your faith family" - wow!! As we are becoming more like Christ, we need to be there for our faith family and open our lives and homes to those outside our faith family.
For some of us, it's easier to be kind to those within our faith family because they are more like us. And for some of us, it's easier to have compassion for those outside our faith family because we have lower expectations for what kind of person they will be.
Are you looking for ways to "be Jesus" to those bith inside and outside your faith family? Are you compassionate to both? Are you accepting of both? Are you non-judgmental to both?
Remember, you are influencing those in your life - even if you don't think you are. You ARE!! This week, look for a way to reach out to someone that is more difficult for you to reach out to. Maybe a coworker who is not a believer, maybe a parent who seems to never let up, maybe a child who let you down, maybe a friend who made a mistake. Reach out, honor God by honoring them and put them first. Seek to reconcile instead of seeking revenge.
Live and love authentically as you are becoming!!
Thanks for being you-