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
Not only are we to be guarding our own responses, but we are to be "seeing that no one" repays evil for evil. That means we have to watch out for one another, lest we be dragged into the snare of the enemy with our emotions.
It's so easy to justify an unloving response when we've been hurt or wronged. The world would have us believe we have a right to be angry, or the other person deserved it. The world will get behind our story of wrong, it will amp up our emotions, and will help us to justify our response. We all have those people who love to soothe us in the pit. They think they’re doing the right thing by siding with us - they stroke our ego, making us feel justified in our response.
For this reason, we must be careful who we share our stories with when we're upset with our husband, with our children, with our co-workers - if that person is just going to get behind our story and help us to justify our response, then they're not helping us seek good. We need to seek the counsel of loving believers who will help us to respond in a way that seeks to glorify God.
In the same way, when we see or hear of an unloving response out of a fellow believer, we are called to remind them that our responses are to seek good for everyone. Don't be caught in the trap of justifying a response for a friend because the world would say it's right - our responses should never be evil, spiteful, cold, sarcastic, angry, or in any way unloving. We are called here to hold one another accountable to His commands - that's why we meet in community so regularly. It's how we encourage and remind one another what we are called to do.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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