Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Love and Good Works

The Christian life--specifically, the interaction of brothers and sisters in Christ--has been on my mind. I love this verse and return to it in my mind often:
Hebrews 10:24
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works..." (KJV: 'provoke one another').

The "stir up" or "provoke" is paroxusmos, from paroxuno:

to make sharp, sharpen
to stimulate, spur on, urge

Isn't that a beautiful thought! 'What can I do to sharpen my brother? What can I do to spur my sister on in love? What can I do to stimulate my brother to good works?' It's a lifelong, joyful task, given by the Lord: a way to take up our cross daily, which involves self-denial and submission of our will to Jesus. As we deny ourselves and follow Him, He shows us how to fulfill His law of love:
Matt 16:24-25
Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'

Gal 6:2-3
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

I want to do this more in my own life, by the Spirit's prompting. So often it's far too easy to get bogged down in the daily grind. Lord, help me remember to show kindness to my Family, and to listen for Your voice.

Gal 6:9-11
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.


Maybe someone who knows Greek, or has the resources to find out, can tell us more about paroxusmos.

4 comments:

and then Life happened said...

Hi,

I know a Greek lady married to my best friend, she keeps him very Sharp! :)
All kiddin aside, contact me via Yahoo Messenger user name ptemailman, or through the Skype program, user name ptemailman and we can have some live sharpenings!

Richard

greasy joan said...

Thank you for the iron-sharpening thoughts this morning, Kristen. I don't know Greek, but I can cf. it in Strong's later on.

Kristen said...

Thanks, Joan! The definitions above came from Strong's, but I didn't have time to follow the word through all its derivatives, etc. Let me know if you discover something noteworthy. :) I am going to try to find some A.T. Robertson for us, too.

Kristen said...

Okay, I found the AT Robertson:

Let us consider one another (katanowmen allhlouß). Present (keep on doing so) active volitive subjunctive of katanoew. The verb used about Jesus in Titus 3:1. To provoke (eiß paroxusmon). Our very word "paroxysm," from paroxunw (para, oxunw from oxuß, sharp), to sharpen, to stimulate, to incite. So here in good sense (for incitement to), but in Acts 15:39 the word is used of irritation or contention as in the LXX and Demosthenes. Hippocrates uses it for "paroxysm" in disease (so in the papyri). Unto love and good works (agaphß kai kalwn ergwn). Objective genitive. So Paul seeks to stir up the Corinthians by the example of the Macedonians (2 Corinthians 8:1-7).

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