“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Here we find three words that we do not always like paired with words that we love to put on plaques and trinkets and name our daughters…
Work, labor, and endurance. Faith, love, and hope.
Three words that seem more masculine. Three words that seem more feminine. (I have shopped for a little bit of Brighton jewelry in my day and I have never seen any of their stuff have the words “work, labor or endurance” on them, but lots of “faith, love and hope.” With that said, I have seen “work, labor, and endurance” on some inspirational posters in weight rooms and locker rooms!)
I think Paul is letting us know that the second set of words… the set that you see all over Hobby Lobby… are not passive. They are not frilly. They are not cute and don’t exist to simply make life a little more cuddly. These are foundation words. These are the dig-deep and have them at the-core-of-all-that-we-do words. Faith, love, and hope are active. They are powerful. They are the reason we do what we do.
Faith, love and hope are the foundries where things like work, labor, and endurance are made. In fact, without faith, love and hope; work, labor and endurance become the adult equivalence of the silliness of children playing make believe… lots of energy is spent but nothing that lasts is accomplished.
1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
1Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Give your life to the best and highest things… faith, love and hope. Then your work, labor and endurance will truly matter.