Be patient with one another

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 ESV


From the text, Paul continued to admonish the believers in Thessalonica to be concerned for one another’s spiritual growth. As members of the body of Christ, they have to learn to minister to one another. Paul provided instructions how to minister to three different types of people that are part of the church. He urged the believers “to warn those who are lazy.” Some of the church members in Thessalonica just stopped working for they thought that since Christ’s return will happen anytime soon what is the use then of daily grinding at work? Paul’s admonition to those who are mature in the faith is to warn those who are idle. Those who are idle spend their time talking about the possible scenarios regarding Christ’s return that they have neglected their responsibilities. Today, there are also those that can be idle just because they perceived that Christ’s return may not happen anytime soon. So, they stopped engaging in the expansion of the Kingdom of God and spend most of their time pursuing worldly desires. There are Christians who have become preoccupied with daily routine that they have neglected their spiritual responsibilities. They, too, are to be warned to not lose sight of God’s priority for their lives. Then Paul told the church to “Encourage those who are timid.” These group of believers are those who are frustrated living out their Christian life because of unforeseen circumstances. They were probably saddled with difficulties that overwhelmed them and they got depressed. So, Paul told the mature believers to encourage those who are timid by telling them that they have to rely on God’s working in their lives so they could overcome their fear. The third admonition was directed to “those who are weak.” They are the ones who have set goals they wanted to pursue in their walk with God but they seemed to be not achieving them and thought of themselves as weak. They could also be those who tried their best to live godly lives, yet found themselves stumbling over sin. They lack spiritual maturity that they find it difficult to completely submit to God. Since most believers have been in this situation and because of their growth in their relationship with God, they were able to overcome some of their weaknesses and now are called upon to show tender care to those who are weak and struggling in their walk with God. Since Christians mature at different phases, Paul’s admonition is to “Be patient with everyone.” Their attitude with one another should be characterized by love for love is patient. As we abide with Christ and His Word, we learn on how not to pay “back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” The Lord Jesus Christ said: “your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”


Blessings,


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