And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
We know that the Church of Thessalonica was well known for their respectable behavior, as Paul stated “You have become an example to all the believers” (1 Thess. 1:7) Why? Because this Church didn’t just talk the talk, but they also walked the walk. They lived a Christian life to the best of their abilities, as Paul also said “walk in a manner worthy of God’s calling” (1 Thess. 2:12) When we become saved in Christ, this is just the beginning of our journey, this is certainly not the end
So with that said, how do we live as a Christian? Many people focus on things in the Bible such as prophecy and history, but there are also a lot of practical applications that can be applied to our daily lives as Christians. Paul’s letters to the Churches, gives us a lot of practical instructions we can all apply to our daily Christian lives, again our goal should be to want to “conform to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29) If Jesus is truly our Lord, we should want to be just like him, live like him, act like him. While we will never reach the superiority of The Lord, we should still want to follow in his ways
So Paul is giving the Church some practical applications to living a Christan life. The first teaching is to respect authority. Paul says “acknowledge those who work diligently among you, who preside over you in The Lord, and give you instruction”. What a simple concept, for brothers and sisters in Christ to show each other mutual respect, however we know this simply doesn’t happen much anymore, especially on social media. We often hear Pastors being continually analyzed and picked apart from every word they say. While it’s good to verify what your Pastor is saying , we should also be demonstrating love and respect for your spiritual authority
Secondly the Apostle Paul tells us to “Be at peace among yourselves” This should be applied not only to the Church, but also to people outside your Church also. As Jesus commanded us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) Christ was not just referring to other Christians, he was referring to your physical neighbors, people in your community, people online, basically everyone. While it may not always be possible to live in peace with everyone, we should strive to do everything we can to “keep the peace” as Paul says “strive to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18)
A third application as Paul says “Don’t repay evil for evil, pursue what is good for everyone” This coincides with what Jesus taught “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) When somebody wrongs us, it’s natural to want to get revenge, however as a Christian we need to live at a higher standard. Our battles belong to The Lord (1 Samuel 17:47) and not ourselves. We need to remember everyone is watching us, when we behave in a hypocrite way, it actually brings dishonor to our Lord Jesus, as well as ourselves
As the Apostle Paul says “Always pursue what is good for everyone”, while the right thing is not always the easiest thing, our goal in life should always to bring honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!