Week Eight - Day Four
Helping others be transformed
1 Thessalonians 5:14-23 - And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise proph- ecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
This section of Scripture is part of the summary in the letter Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica. He is giving the most important final points to his readers. Among commands to pray, give, and abstain from sin is found his encouragement to help others live according to Christ’s desires for them. It is our privilege as disciples to help other disciples grow.
Our tendency is to avoid speaking into the lives of others, but doing as these verses instruct can be “loving our neighbors as ourselves” (Mark 12:31). We may see some- thing in Scripture fellow believers do not see or an area where they don’t appear to be actually living out what they profess to believe. If we do not confront them in love, as Paul encourages us to do here, they may be destined to struggle for years. Jesus demonstrated this many times. For example, in John 5:39-44 Jesus goes straight for the heart of the Pharisees describing how their lack of trust in the Scriptures causes them to disbelieve he is the Messiah. Jesus gives knowledge of his word, the Holy Spirit and himself as a model to help others who need to be encouraged to change.
Loving one another requires that we help others see what God wants them to see. It should be a normal practice within a healthy group of disciples. The intent is not to accuse of sin and denigrate people but to love each other well through the power of the Spirit. We want all people to see and understand what God’s desire is for their life. When you care enough to reach out to help people who are struggling, it expresses your identity in Christ in a way that reflects God to others.
- Transformation is messy and unpredictable, but we can still be ready to "admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak." How will you prepare for helping your fellow Christian when the need arises?
- Record your response and share with a family member or someone in your Discipleship Group