Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 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. (1 Thessalonians 5:11-13 ESV)
A very interesting quote I found in my Bible’s commentary from John and Charles Wesley’s mother. She was asked which of her 10 surviving children was her favorite, she replied, “The one who is sick until he’s well, and the one who’s away from home until he’s back home.” This is a picture into the kind of mother two of the most respected men, highly esteemed in love for all they labored while on earth.
Paul loved spreading God’s good news into cities in midst of violent times. Riots would ensue and a church would be born. The church of Thessalonica was just like this, established due to Paul’s gentle and loving nature. Now, this is exact opposite of when Paul was Saul- people feared him as he set out to murder Christians. I’m thankful God inspired to show a pure transformation of casting off our old self, becoming new in Christ- receiving our new identity. We become a child of the Most High King, Jesus Christ. No- not everyone has a name change. After God gained Saul’s attention, he became Paul- one of the most noted disciples and church builders.
Not everyone was for Paul, they did not trust his transformation. This can be the case today. And…if this has happened to you…God is Sovereign to provide an advocate for you- who can be trusted, helping build one another up. Barnabas was Paul’s encourager. We are to encourage and build one another up- not tear down. Those who labor and admonish us- we are to build one another up- receiving their wisdom and trusting God’s Sovereignty. Who around us needs good encouragement? Let’s move forward with eyes open, asking Jesus to guide us to those who need encouraged and give generously. Peace will be our reward.