We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 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.1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
In his book, How Shall We Then Live?, Dr. Francis Shaeffer challenged our culture long before we began to see some of the rapid changes we’ve observed over the last decade or so. For him, it begins with truth or “True truth” as he described it –
“Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and the surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles. But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.”Francis Schaeffer
Which worldview is true? As followers of Christ, everything hangs on the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul reminded the Thessalonians of this as a foundational belief in the expectation that Christ will return one day.
In light of this “true truth,” Paul reminds all of us as to “how then we shall live.” Notice in the verses above that Paul presents an expectation of respect and high esteem for Christian leaders.
He then moves on to how we are to interact with our peers. He speaks of confrontation (admonish the idle) and encouragement for those who are anxious or in need of help and that they should be patient with everyone.
While it is tempting to do so, don’t seek revenge against anyone. Instead, we are to look for how we might respond to the good of others.
How I conduct myself is a reflection of what I believe to be true, so am I living like I believe in the promises Paul relates to the church at Thessalonica?