Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (NAS)
Society, although it does not realize it, benefits greatly from the presence of Christians in its midst. Paul refers to brotherly love (phileo) here, and it’s hard to apply such love discriminately. Consequently, our love as Christians spills over to those who may not deserve it. The deeper agape love is also be in view here, since it is surely wrought by God’s spirit (“taught by God”, and it surely would be something to strive for if we were to want to “excel still more.”
My wife tells me of her simple act of allowing someone to go ahead of her in line. The person asked, “Why are you being so nice?” Perhaps in today’s culture what used to be grace, deference, and good manners stands out like a sore thumb. Christians should naturally be like this.
As Paul refers to later in his letter, there will come a day when, in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52), we all will be gone (4:17), and hopefully, in theory, sorely missed.