How Are You Doing?
“How are you doing?” is more often a polite greeting than a serious question. That is probably why I do not usually put much thought into my answer. Every now and then, the question is something more than a greeting. It’s a genuine attempt to know if I am okay. My answers in those moments are serious and they reveal something about my priorities. My priorities clearly bubble to the surface when someone asks how a loved-one is doing. What are the first things that come to mind? Often it is how they are doing in their work, with their family, and their health – all of which are important. I was convicted the other day when I read the following in my devotional from 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 (ESV).
11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians reflects different priorities from mine. Paul first prays for the Thessalonians to grow spiritually, to live as followers of Jesus. That is what he means by “make you worthy of his calling.” Then Paul prays that God will accomplish the good works and acts of faith that are on the Thessalonians’ hearts. The reason he prayed this was so Jesus would be glorified, and the Thessalonians, in turn, would be glorified through Jesus.
If Paul had been asked how the Thessalonians are doing, his answer would likely start with how they are growing in godliness and how the Lord is working through them. It is the top thing he prayed for. Is this at the top of your list for how you pray for your family, friends, and church? How would our church change if we prayed this way for one another? How would our relationships change if our first desire for others was their growth in Christ and the impact God will have through them?