14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
Sometimes it can be a struggle trying to navigate how to interact with different types of people. I can feel like I’m walking a tightrope at times, unsure how to respond. One of the things I love about scripture is that God gives us wisdom on all different types of situations, including how to relate to difficult people.
These verses tell us how to approach three different types of troubled people we will encounter in life - the idle, the faint hearted, and the weak. The idle is actually translated as unruly in other translations - these are the people in our lives without self control. They do what they want to do, when they want to do it. We are told to admonish these people when we encounter them. The people need to hear the truth, so our counsel must confront the sin in their lives, and must speak truth.
The faint hearted are small souled people - they are weak in their faith, especially when a trial hits. They may be plugging along just fine in their life, then something happens and they despair. When we encounter these types of people, we are told to encourage them. Again, we use scripture, but these people need to hear of the love and protection of our Lord.
Then there are the weak - these are the people that are physically or mentally broken. Someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or recovering from surgery. Someone who has lost a loved one, or someone going through a difficult trial brought on by another person. Our instruction for these people is simple - we help them. We tend to their needs and offer our support in whatever way they need.
But with all of these people we are instructed to be patient. Troubled people can be frustrating as we tend to them - it can be so much easier to just walk away from a needy person in our lives. But that's not what we are called to do - we're instructed to lean in to these people's lives and care for them with patience.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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