Three men stayed in a city. Their names were Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, and the city was called Thessalonica. The year was around 50 AD.
What did the men do in that place? They delivered the good news that God loved the people there. But that was just the beginning. In a letter recapping their time together, they later wrote: “We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives.”
Through the years many people have delivered messages to me that they said, or at least strongly implied, were from God. These involved things those individuals felt I was doing wrong, or should be doing differently, or maybe even doing right. In the interest of taking any input seriously, I consider each one.
The words to which I give the most weight, however, are those which come from messengers who do more than just talk. These people share their lives with me in the form of transparent relationships. We explore the reality of struggles, the dangers of temptation, and the mysteries of divine grace that keeps us on the path. In the midst of it all, God’s direction comes through clearly.
The hit and run method of spiritual communication by “sharing a few words” – or many – might have a legitimate purpose once in awhile. But, personally, I gravitate toward those who have more to offer … their lives for example.