1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Prior to this passage, the Apostle Paul has been putting all earthly concerns into the context of Jesus’ return and the day of God’s judgment. As a follower of Jesus, I can look forward to Jesus’ return, not as a day of wrath, but as a day of rejoicing; my King is coming to reign forever. Sadly, some use Jesus’ return as an excuse to devalue relationships here on earth. But Paul assumes the contrary, because Jesus is coming back to rule forever, I should take very seriously my relationships on earth and seek God’s wisdom to act wisely towards each person I know or meet. I see there is a time to encourage, warn, be at peace, assist and honour. My relationships matter immensely to God and if I want to please my King when he arrives, I better be getting them right.
Lord show me where I am lacking honour, or if I am shying away from giving a loving rebuke. Show me what you see in my relationships, so I can be pleasing to you. Amen.
Written by Andrew Mellor