Having spoken of marital love, Paul now moves on to brotherly love (philadelphia) in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10. Love of fellow Christians is one of our duties in Christ. Jesus commanded us to love one another and this teaching continued throughout the early church. This love for other co-believers should overflow into love for all people. As God loves all people, we should love all people too.
There was a YouTube video which went viral recently and an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post about women who (still) cannot walk down the street without enduring catcalls from leering men. This behavior does not exhibit brotherly love. Nor does the reverse - women ogling men - which has become almost as common, if not just as common, in U.S. society. So although every woman could tell you her own story of being on the receiving end of these comments, now men can too. This type of behavior violates the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We spoke earlier this week of taking every thought captive to Christ. If we take such thoughts captive, we can keep ourselves from speaking them. We need also to guard our eyes from lingering where they ought not linger. That man or woman we are ogling is a child of God and someone else's husband/wife/son/daughter.
For Reflection: Am I acting toward others with brotherly love? Am I following the Golden Rule?
Let us pray. Father, I thank you for creating us male and female and for making us attractive to one another. I confess that I have not always been careful about who or what I have looked at, and about what I have said to other people, especially members of the opposite sex. I have violated your command to love others as you have loved me. I ask your forgiveness and your help in being more careful about where and how I look at people and what I say to them.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.