Do Good to One Another

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:15, ‘Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.’

 

Observations: At the end of his letter to the Christians in Thessalonica Paul gives instructions on how they are to live as brothers and sisters. They are to respect their leaders (v12-13), they are to warn, encourage, help and be patient with everyone (v14). And here in this verse they are to see to it that no one repays anyone wrong for wrong, or evil for evil. Rather we should ‘always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.’ In the Greek it’s ‘always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.’ The word ‘seek’ implies that we ought to pursue something, that it requires intense effort. The word ‘kind’ implies that instead of repaying wrong for wrong, we pay back good for evil. We are to do what benefits others, and not just within the church, but also ‘everyone else,’ those outside the church. This is exactly what God did for us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Instead of treating us our sins deserved, Jesus died for our good, that we might be saved from our sins. In the same way instead of giving what others deserve, we do good to them. This is the definition of grace.

 

Application: If someone wrongs you how do you respond? According to Paul it is not the Christian thing to pay them back, nor is it Christian to avoid them, rather we are to do good to them. Paul isn’t suggesting that there are no consequences to doing evil, but rather that we show the grace and love of Christ in our actions, rather than reverting to the way the world responds. Who has wronged you and how are you going to respond? Who do you need to do good to and how?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s so easy for me to respond to those who have wronged me by just avoiding them, or even belittling them in some way. Lord, forgive me when I treat other people as the world does, instead of how You have treated me. Help me to do good to those who have wronged me. Help me to be filled with the love of grace of Jesus, that I may bring You glory and honour. In His name I pray. Amen.

 

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