Romans 12:11 (ESV)
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
In the book The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis takes readers on an imaginary tour of heaven and hell. At one point in heaven, “Sarah Smith” passes by, receiving great honor from many heavenly beings. She received no earthy accolades but was a simple woman who lived in a simple home and showed deep love to every person and every creature she met. Sarah Smith had great spiritual fervor.
There was a man that was asked a few months after his wife committed suicide how he made it, his answer was “It was because of the support system that he had that held him up.” These are some of the behaviors I believe the apostle Paul was talking about when he called us to keep our spiritual fervor:
People listened non judgmentally.
They prayed faithfully.
They understood that grief is not a sign of weakness or lack of faith, but the price of love.
They encouraged him to eat, exercise, and sleep well.
They remained aware of his vulnerability and the uniqueness of each person’s trials.
Loving someone whose life and experiences are very different from our own takes energy, time, and effort. Our spiritual fervor can wane when it costs more of our time or money or energy than we expect. But, in God’s strength, fervent love listens, encourages, and seeks to understand.
Dear Lord, sometimes we tire of loving others. Make our love be a reflection of Your unending love for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.