Main point summary
We conclude this letter with some final requests and instruction on appropriately honoring your spiritual leaders, living authentically and supportively in Christian community, living with joy, thanksgiving and prayer no matter what the circumstances and in rightfully evaluating prophetic utterances.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
But we request of you, brethren,
Now in closing, we have some things to ask of you, brothers and sisters,
that you 1 a appreciate those b who diligently labor among you,
and that is that you appropriately value your spiritual leaders
and c have charge over you in the Lord
as these leaders have been given a responsibility for your care by the Lord
and give you 2 instruction,
and are in charge of teaching, encouraging and admonishing you.
and that you esteem them very highly in love
To clarify further, I mean that you lovingly respect and honor them
because of their work.
as is fitting considering their hard work.
a Live in peace with one another.
Let your fellowship with the brethren be characterized by harmony and an absence of quarrel and dissension.
We urge you, brethren , admonish a the 1 unruly,
We strongly encourage you to speak words of correction to those who are disobedient, or lazy and idle,
encourage b the fainthearted,
and to you speak words of encouragement to those lacking courage,
help c the weak ,
and to you assist those who lack strength,
be d patient with everyone.
and to do all this with an attitude of long-suffering and loving tolerance for everyone.
See that a no one repays another with evil for evil,
Be watchful that no one among the brethren are living in unforgiveness or seeking revenge.
but always b seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
but instead , be on the lookout for ways to do what is beneficial for your brothers and sisters in the Lord and for everyone.
a Rejoice always;
Choose to live joyfully at all times,
a pray without ceasing;
live continuously in an attitude of prayer and never give up on any of your prayers,
in everything a give thanks;
and, no matter what the circumstances, tell express and cultivate a thankful heart.
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
because this is how God wants you to live since you who are united with Jesus.
a Do not quench the Spirit ;
Do not hinder the Spirit's work,
do not despise a prophetic 1 utterances.
and do not ignore or show contempt for spirit inspired messages.
But a examine everything carefully;
But that does not mean that you must accept all teaching as Spirit inspired. In fact , be diligent to test all teachings or prophesies to see if they are truly Spirit-inspired.
b hold fast to that which is good;
and then , cling to and incorporate into your lives those teaching that pass the test,
abstain from every 1 form of evil.
but reject and completely avoid any untruth as evil.
I also consider verses 16-18 as an anchor because it is such a clear and concise teaching on how God desires us, who trust in Him, to live in our challenging world. I believe that a recipe for good mental health is to choose joy, thanksgiving and prayer no matter what the circumstances. It is also a powerful testimony to our world, authenticating our claim that we serve a God who is completely worthy of our trust.
I substituted the word hinder here, but I believe the word quench is richer in that it reminds us of the Holy Spirit presenting Himself as tongues of flame at His coming. It reveals something of His character - our God is a consuming fire.
This is a means to obeying the command in 12b, that we appreciate our spiritual leaders.
This is a means obeying 13c - living at peace with one another.
I imagine that if the people are fond of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, that they would be motivated by this fondness to comply with anything they requested.
As a motivation for honoring our spiritual leaders, the authors remind us of the fact that being a spiritual leader, teaching and feeling responsible to the Lord for the spiritual health of those they "have charge over" is hard work. People can be obstreperous and difficult to lead.
Being urged by their friends (the authors) is also motivation to comply.
I see this also as a means to fulfilling the command in 13c to live at peace with one another.
Yellow highlights = commands Blue highlights = motivation Red highlights = means Green highlights = anchors