Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Touching LIves LIke a Mother
On Mothers’ Day, we remember and honour our own mothers as well as all mothers we know in our midst. It is right that we do so for the way mothers sacrifice their own comfort and happiness for their families’ sake. I sincerely believe all of us can learn from the attributes of mothers and apply them in our ministry to one another in HPC. In 1 Thess 2:7-10, Paul shows us the way to learn from mothers, “…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children...”
Firstly, Paul was gentle towards the Thessalonians just as a mother is with her children (v7). Here we get a picture of a mother who deals patiently with her children who are difficult, stubborn and immature. My first church ministry, in my former church, was teaching in Children Sunday School. About a month later, a mother of a P4 girl in my class asked me, “What was it that gave you a call to teach the children?” I replied, “There was no call, it was more for my own gain. I felt I needed to learn to curb my impatience so teaching children was a good way to cultivate patience.” It takes time and energy to look after children. That is what a mother does, gives up her time and energy for her children’s sake. We know that Paul was involved in the lives of his flock. After we evangelize people, we should not just give them a gospel or Christian handbook, ask them to read and expect them to grow. We need to spend time to disciple these young believers, helping them to grow in the Lord, walking with them in their struggles and not be put off by them when they still behave as Christian babies.
Secondly, the Thessalonians were very dear to Paul (v8). How does he show this? Paul worked hard and sacrificed himself for their sake (v9). A mother sacrifices her own life, her wants and dreams for the sake of her children. Paul was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his flock. May we also be willing to sacrifice for our Christian brethren in our journey together.
Thirdly, Paul also passed on spiritual life and virtues to the Thessalonian Christian (v8, 10). It is easy to impart theology and Bible knowledge but, more than that, I believe we are to share our lives with our fellow Christians. A mother’s calling is to nourish her child. As we grow, it is our calling to nourish and strengthen the lives of those around us in need of such. Paul lived a ‘holy, righteous and blameless’ life (V10) so that his example would impart the virtues of a Christ-like life to the Thessalonians. This is also what a mother does – giving her heart away as she seeks to demonstrate and pass on godly virtues to her children. All those who are in a mentoring role - parents, teachers, pastors, elders, CG leaders, etc., have to learn and must know what it means to give your heart away to those you mentor.
Yet sometimes, those whom you give your heart to, end up poking a needle into that heart, just as sometimes children grow up, turn away and forget their mother’s love. No matter! The same thing happened to our Lord Jesus. May God’s grace lavish us with gentleness, love and acceptance for our brethren and may it be clearly seen both in our words and in our works.