1 Thessalonians 4 is a letter, written by Paul, full of rules in which Christians are supposed to live by. We are to walk closely with God, engaging in acts and behaviors that will please God. We are to abstain from sexual immorality, to live of a life of purity, to be sanctified by our faith in Jesus Christ. We are called to live a life opposite of those that don’t know God. Paul also reminds us that we are to love one another in the way God loves us – this is not optional, and it’s not to be done when it’s convenient and easy for us. Not only are we to love our brothers and sisters, but we are also required to encourage them and walk beside them in community. We are required to live a life that is not only pleasing to God, but a life that will bring new believers closer to God, as commanded.  We are to do all this knowing that one day soon, Christ is coming.

As I was reflecting on this chapter and its message, I found myself thinking about the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. If you have seen it – chances are you know where I’m going with this. I kept thinking about the infamous quote about the pirate code being more like “guidelines” than rules. The more I read over this chapter, the more I thought about that quote, and as funny as it was, I had to ask myself if there’s a reason that movie kept coming to mind. Obviously, Christianity and Piracy having nothing in common, but I think a lot of times as Christians, we do sometimes tend to see the rules outlined in the Word less like rules to abide by and more like guidelines to use at our discretion. We take from them what we want, when we want, and we back-burner the ones that we know are harder for us to live by.

These verses force us to reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves the question - are we treating the commandments of God as rules that must be followed, or do we see them more as guidelines?  

by Grace Schmidt, Women's Ministry Team

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