Paul Was Not a “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” Kind of Guy
Communication in the first century was not easy. There was no internet, no email, not even snail mail. Paper was non-existent. Any writing materials were scarce and expensive. Travel from place to place was difficult and often dangerous; mostly done by foot. Despite this, we see repeatedly that Paul desired to communicate with the places and people to whom he had ministered. We read this in 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5: “Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.” Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to hear of their condition and their faith. I encourage each of us to feel the same way about a person or group of people. I have noticed over the years that people really feel encouraged by a simple note of thanks or an email that says, “I’m praying for you” (when you really ARE praying for the person). Of course, it should always be genuine…don’t send the card if you don’t mean it. However, if you really do care, remind people from time to time of that care and love. Check in on them and inquire about their faith journey and their relationship with Christ and others. Don’t love ‘em and leave ‘em.