Reading Through The New Testament. September 14 2016. 1 Thessalonians 1
This letter says its from Paul, Titus and Timothy, but it probably was mostly just Paul. I really like how Paul starts his letters. They’re always so encouraging and always manage to put Christ in the center of everything.
The other day, I was hanging out with a friend who was having a really rough time. We were sitting in my car out of their place, and I was listening to all of the issues they were dealing with. In that moment I found myself at a loss to what I could say. This person was truly dealing with way more than I ever have had to handle before. There really was nothing I could say that could make it better, or fix anything. And as a man, I really do just want to fix the problem. Fortunately, I know that’s almost never the solution, so I found an alternative route.
The alternative route I found was encouraging them. While I did not understand what they were going through, I did understand that there were some things the person was doing very well. So I brought up instances where I could see God’s light shining through. For quite some time I just kept finding things they were good at, and really encouraging them in that area. And you know what? It seemed to work. The person left inspired, and feeling better.
This is what I think Paul is doing in this letter. Paul starts off with encouragement and prayer. The point of 1 Thessalonians as a book was to encourage the church. To lift them up and cheer them on. Sometimes every once in a while, we need to be cheered on and lifted up. Look at this chapter as a template or example of how we can cheer our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on.