“Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15)
Paul is writing to the Thessalonian church and in these verses here is finishing up the letter. Like most of his letters to the various churches he helped to plant, he would finish his letters by encouraging and exhorting them to continue to do good and to follow Jesus. Here is no exception. Paul gave some practical applications to what he had shared with them throughout the letter and encouraged them to keep on being faithful.
He wanted the believers to encourage and give recognition to those who were leading them, their pastors and elders. It is a tough job to minister and tend the flock and Paul wanted the people to acknowledge that and care for those in charge. He wanted the believers to be at peace and to be agents of that to the world. He wanted them to exhort, to comfort, to help, to be patient, and to pursue good.
We live very much in a time where it seems the discouraged aren’t being comforted, that the weak aren’t being helped, that there is no patience with people, that evil is being repaid with evil. That should not be so with followers of Jesus. We are called to love one another,especially fellow Christians. We are called to be the light of the world, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We are to be different in a way that stands out and points people to Jesus.
It is hard sometimes…a lot of the times to keep pursuing what is good. It is hard when there is discouragement everywhere. When God is mocked or hated and His people despised. However, we are called to be faithful in continuing to do good, to seek justice and mercy, to show grace to one another, to love one another, to call out sin and to repent. Let us keep doing just that. Let us lean on Christ and keep pursuing good and being faithful to the calling that God has for us.