You remember, friends, how hard we worked, how much effort we put in. We worked around the clock while we were telling you about Jesus to avoid being a burden on a single one of you. You know, and God knows, how upright, fair and innocent we were with you who believed. You know we treated you like a father treats his own children: urging you, cheering you on, begging you to live up to your calling from God, a glorious kingdom calling.
And we thank God all the time that when you accepted the divine message you took it in, not just as any old story, but as the divine calling alive within you that it truly is.
Sometimes we all need a little encouragement to do our best. Sometimes we don’t even know how much potential we have until someone points it out. And, if we look back to see where we came from, we can probably find at least one occasion when someone put a lot of effort into us, to tell us a new story about ourselves, that made us believe.
And sometimes, when we see the potential in someone else, it becomes our turn. To put some effort in. To tell a story that will make someone believe that there is more to them than meets their own eye. To urge, to cheer, to implore someone to live up to their calling. After all, it’s not just any old story. It’s the reason you’re alive.
[Bonus: Blessed is the congregation who has a Pastor whose calling is to do this. Blessed is the child whose parents and teachers do this.]
[Double-bonus: You might want to follow Paul’s example and say thank you.]