Main point summary
Relate to leaders and others well, especially in conflict, and relate to God well by diligently talking and listening to Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
We ask you, brothers,
Brethren in the Lord, we have a request of you:
m to respect those who labor among you and n are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
this is it: show honor to the people who work in your midst and lead you in Christ and warn you.
and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
and also hold them in loving high value because of the work they do.
o Be at peace among yourselves.
Next , don't fight.
And we urge you, brothers,
Next , we strongly ask you to do these things:
admonish p the idle, 1
namely, warn those who are sitting around doing nothing,
q encourage the fainthearted,
And cheer on those who are afraid
r help the weak,
And be an aid to those without much power
s be patient with them all.
And with everyone: be longsuffering.
See that t no one repays anyone evil for evil,
Next , when someone is done wrong, have them not respond in kind... doing wrong back.
but always u seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
but instead , seek to do good (even when wronged) to each other and everyone.
v Rejoice always,
Next , all the time choose joy
w pray without ceasing,
And pray all the time
x give thanks in all circumstances;
And no matter what's going on, give thanks.
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
here's why: this is God's plan for you in Christ.
y Do not quench the Spirit.
Next don't resist or stop the Spirit in what He's doing.
Do not despise z prophecies,
Let me explain: when there is a prophecy, do not treat it contemptuously.
but a test everything;
Rather , test it to see if it's from God,
hold fast what is good.
then if it is good - if it's from God - hang on to it,
Abstain from every form of evil.
but if it's evil - if it's not from God - avoid it.
Not certain this ground applies to vs 16 & 17.
The contrast here to despise is test
Didn't think at first that vs 20-22 relates to vs. 19. But then saw content of those verses and that NIGTC thinks so!
If vs 21b & 22 do relate to vs 21a, it's interesting that the issue is not correct and incorrect but good and bad.
Does the "And" in 14a help me know what to do with vs 13b? (e.g. 1) put it with vs 12b-13a, 2) have it stand alone, or 3) put it with vs 14+). I don't think 13b goes with 14 because of content. So I think the "And" separates 13b from 14. The content also does not seem to connect it to 13a since that is verticle and 13b is horizontal.
conflict part 2
Relating to God
Relating to people
Talking to God
Listening for God
conflict part 1
Interesting that the admonition not to fight is near the request to love leaders well.
Meditations & takeaways
It's so easy to deceive ourselves as we read this passage... some very familiar verses... and very short verses, and it's easy to think that familiarity means we're doing it or that a quick read means it's easy. Vs 12-13. So easy to criticize or take for granted our spiritual leaders. Who are the ones among me? Vs 13. Who are those I am tempted to not be at peace with? Vs 14. Warning is not something I like to do. Who do I know that needs a warning against idleness? Vs 15. Seeking to do good even to those who do us wrong... very easy to find those we feel are "enemies" in our polarized country. So lots of opportunities to apply this verse. Who do I experience evil from? Vs 17. What are some times in which I don't normally rejoice? Vs 17. What are some times when I could pray? Vs 18. What are some circumstances in which I could give thanks? Vs 19-22. I wonder what different ways could look like of despising prophecy. Are there ways in which I am despising prophecy?