1 Thessalonians 5:14
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encouarge those who hare timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
Today, we are continuing our series on What/How we encourage others. There are lots of things we need to talk about in today's verse so lets get right into it.
So far, we know that to encourage others, we should: Build Each Other up, Honor/Respect our Leaders, and Live in Peace.
We have 4 new checklist items to add from this verse.
1. Warn the lazy
Ah, laziness. A fun "sin". I get lazy at times. You get lazy at times. We all get lazy at times. If we are lazy or feeling lazy, and someone asks us to do something, yeah, it's hard to do it. We would just rather kick back and do... well.... nothing.
If someone does nothing, then that means they are doing 'nothing' for God-- and we can't have that. If you see someone who you think is lazy, gently ask them to join you in a project. Be nice about it. Don't say, "Hey lazy bones. Come here and do SOMETHING!" (I might have thought *said* that to my husband a time or two lol).
No, we need to use nice words. Encourage, not discourage. And don't say anything about the being lazy or seeming to have time. Just say that you need help and was wondering if they could help OR tell them that you were needing help and was thinking of them and knew they would be the right person to help (everyone loves to feel special).
So, find a way to use someone's 'laziness' for your advantage. Encourage them to help you--- that way you are helping them and yourself :)
2. Encourage the Timid.
Believe it or not, I'm a shy person.
Truly (don't laugh people that know me...)
I'm a teacher (both in a school and at church). I write 2 blogs... but I'm shy around people. I have a hard time even speaking up at church (sans my Sunday School class). I bet I haven't talked maybe 5 times-- ever in the service.
In a word, I'm timid.
People like me need encouragement.
And it might not even be talking in church... you might just be timid in everyday life.
If you are a big talker (and I mean that in a good way), encourage the more timid among you that you speak up and you haven't keeled over (apparently that's what I'm afraid of). Find ways to get the more timid to speak up :)
3. Help the Weak
There are 2 kinds of weak: Physical and spiritual.
Helping the physically weak would include volunteering at a nursing home or rehab center. Maybe talking food to shut ins. Maybe even helping a mom carrying her kids in church if she seems to need it. Some people don't like to be 'waited on'. If that is the case, encourage them by telling them how well they are doing. And how proud you are of them.
Helping a person weak spiritually is a bit different. A spiritually weak person can be helped by praying for them. Reading the Bible with them. Offer to do a bible study with them. Anyway you can think to encourage them spiritually is a good thing.... but be nice about it. Don't try to shove it down their throat, but still offer things for them to do with you.
4. Be Patient with Everyone.
I think this is one of the hardest ones. Sometimes, our patience is gone.... GONE. We have none left or so we think. And you know what, *that* just happens to usually be when other people notice us. And that is the image they have of us and our testimony.
There are some people who you think are saintly patient. *I* am not. I have 3 smalll kids and sometimes, well its just gone.
And you know what? I feel bad about it (but that's not for this post).
The honest truth is that no matter how much you encourage someone to speak in church and not be timid, it might not work. No matter how much you try to help someone's laziness, it still might not work. And you can lose your patience.
People have had others giving up on them all of their lives. To be an encourager, we have to be patience with everyone. We have to be the one that doesn't give up on them.
And that is hard. It is. When I read this (and I want to encourage others), I thought Oh--no. lol. This is definitely something I need to pray about.
Tomorrow, we will continue on this series. I'm finding it very interesting... I'm not sure if you are lol. I hope and pray it is.
God Bless You,