Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV)
Paul encourages the believers in Thessalonica to support those who minister to them. Paul tells them that these are people who:
- work hard among you;
- care for you;
- who admonish you.
Now if we are honest we are happy to suport our ministers/pastors when they work hard (but not to the point of overwork) and when their pastoral care is exemplary. However, most of us don’t tend to like being ‘admonished’. When a minsiter or pastor admonishes an individual or congregation it may go down ‘like a lead balloon’. It might even create resentment against the pastor. Yet the pastor’s job must involve correcting error when it is needed.
An adverse reaction to admonishment may be because we are not in a right place with God, or it may simply be that we have forgotten that as our minister/pastor is to ‘… care for [us] in the Lord …’ then any admonishment will be from a motive of love (of caring).
Society today sees anyone telling us what to do as interference in our civil liberty. However, in the church, admonishment should be seen as a normal part of congregational life. If the minister/pastor is not correcting error when needed, then they are not doing their job.
How do you react to those who ‘admonish’ you? With grace, or with resentment?
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