I had an “Aha!” moment in church this morning. Our pastor was preaching from the book of 1 Thessalonians, explaining to us the importance of church unity and growth. One of the verses he read was 5:14, which says “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” He explained that the Greek word for “fainthearted” can literally be translated into “small-souled.” That’s not what we’re supposed to be like. As Christians, we shouldn’t be weak or afraid or timid. Instead we should be the opposite of that. We are called to be bold. To be “large-souled” Christians.
What does it mean to be large-souled? It means trusting God even when we can’t see the outcome of things sometimes. It means taking leaps of faith and accomplishing great things for the glory of God. It doesn’t mean that you will never have fears or obstacles, but if you have a large soul you will be able to overcome those obstacles despite your reservations.
The missionary William Carey once said, “Attempt great things for God; Expect great things from God”. If we step out of our comfort zones and do those things that seem so out of reach in an attempt to bring glory to God, He will pick us up and help us accomplish them. God rewards those who trust in Him.
I can’t use myself as a living example for any of this. It’s not like I’m never scared or reserved. I am, all the time. I hate changes, I am bothered by intrusions in my happy life, and I’m annoyed when God brings me something unexpected and unwanted. But I’m trying. I want to learn to be someone who has a large soul, and is willing to do things I never thought I would have been comfortable doing, all for the glory of Christ. It’s my new prayer this week that God will bring me opportunities to practice great faith and large-soulness.
I’m sharing this with you because I hope that the idea of being a large-souled Christian is as inspiring and encouraging to you as it is to me. We should all be trying harder to look beyond our own little bubbles and take in the bigger scope of things. What is God doing outside of you? What is He accomplishing that you never thought you were good enough to be a part of? All I can say is, maybe He does want you to be a part of it. All He’s waiting for is for you to take the initiative to trust Him and let go of all your reservations. To have a large soul and a bigger purpose for life then you ever might have before. I hope we can all learn to be large-souled Christians.
[Photo via deviantart]