Monday, February 4, 2013

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15

"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 5:14-15

All of this is good, but one part that I like in the first verse is "be patient toward all men."  I think that is really tough, but significantly, I don't think that it depends on the person that we encounter as much as it depends on us.  We have the ability to be patient with anyone, if we are good with God and we have that internal core of peace that grows stronger the longer we keep the spirit with us.  When we lose our cool, we can't blame it on random annoying person #3, no matter how annoying that particular specimen is. :)  We are in control of our cool, our emotions, and all of our reactions.  Not saying that it is always easy to control ourselves, but even when it is most difficult, God still grants us the power and the choice, and it is on us when we lash out... not on random annoying person #3.
In the second verse I really like "see that none render evil for evil."  I think this also really drives home the lesson of personal responsibility.  Revenge isn't ever the answer, even though it often is in popular media.  If someone cheated or hurt us, it isn't right to hurt them back or cheat someone else to make up for it.  If our boss pisses us off, it isn't right to kick the dog (OR the boss). :)  We need to follow good, no matter what we get, from the boss, or random cruel person #9.  We still need to be the good guys.  And remember, the ultimate Good Guy, Christ.  He was more powerful than every person there, and he still didn't release himself from the cross and hurt the people that were hurting him and his friends.  He finished his work.  When he was resurrected, he didn't go back and take revenge on anyone.  He stayed good.  Today, let's try to avoid the media-tinted urge for retribution, and instead follow Christ.  Let's do everything good that we can, and make the world a better place with kindness and gentle goodness, rather than attempting it with revenge and cruelty.

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