Day 4 Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Reflect: What responsibilities do believers have to one another?
Paul gave the instructions found in verses 14-15 as the responsibility of church members, not just leaders. Why do we so often assume or expect leaders to handle these issues by themselves?
Consider: Only as we abide in Christ and entrust our grievances, hardships, and the wrongs we suffer to him can we live with this command. It is not natural, but it is possible. It marks a distinctly Christian approach to life. Paul detailed this approach by quoting Proverbs 25:21–22 in the Book of Romans when he called us to live in peace, to not take revenge. He told us, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” (Rom. 12:20), then added “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). And so Paul told the Thessalonians to be kind to each other and to everyone else. This means everyone both inside and outside the church.4
Respond: Read Acts 2:42-47. What did these relationships between early believers look like? What should living in a community of faith look like?
4 Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 73–74.