Remember what I mentioned in the previous post, about accountability buddies? Well, this passage emphasizes just that.
- Do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Paul reminds us to acknowledge those who work hard among us, those who care for us in the Lord and those who admonish us (1 Thessalonians 5:12). Instead of retaliating when we have been wronged, we are to respond by doing what is good and what is right. What does this mean? It means that when we have been shunned and hurt, we should continue to love and care for that person. This passage is also reminiscent of what is said in Matthew 18:22, where Jesus instructs Peter that we are to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Therefore, we should give people the benefit of the doubt, and be ready and willing to ask the Spirit for help in extending a hand for forgiveness.
2. Rejoice always.
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
It can be difficult to praise God when things don’t go the way we want it to. But we are to trust that God has formulated a unique plan for each of us. Remember that he has sought us out as a holy people to do his will, and that he cares for and loves us.
3. Pray continually.
Pray continually, so that our spirit may be renewed and not quenched. We should pray for God’s guidance in keeping our “spirit, body and soul blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). This was reinforced in the first part of this chapter, when the metaphor of drunkenness was used. The fact that Paul emphasizes this again in the last verses of this chapter signifies its great importance.