Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1 Thessalonians 5:15-17

1 Thessalonians 5:15-17
See that no one should recompense evil for evil.  Rather, at all times pursue the good thing into one another and into all.  Rejoice always.  Pray continuously.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Do not recompense evil for evil.  In other words, when someone treats you badly, don’t treat them badly in return!  This is hard advice.  We want revenge.  We want payback.  We want to make sure that we aren’t the last one kicked but that we have every opportunity to be the one who gets in the last kick.  But here’s the problem.  When we seek revenge, all we are doing is inviting revenge back.  We create a cycle that might never stop but continuously escalate.  The only way to ensure that things do not escalate is to buy into the concept that we do not recompense evil for evil.

Do you ever want to get someone back?  Why is that thought inherently wrong?  How can you avoid the urge to need to get revenge in your life?

Second Thought:

Rejoice always.  This one is difficult.  Life is hard.  Things don’t always go your way.  There are always things to worry about, things to complain about, and things over which we can stress.  Yet we should rejoice always.  Remember that this is said by Paul, who was abused and mistreated in practically every town in which he went!  If he can rejoice, so can I.

When do you find it easiest to rejoice?  When do you find it the most difficult to rejoice?

Third Thought:

The third of Paul’s final directives is an interesting one.  Pray continuously.  This one is one that honestly took me years to process and wrap my head around.  I think I’m still making sure that I’ve figured it out.  For me, the trick was to decide to live my life as though God is always present.  In other words, I don’t talk to myself anymore, I talk to God.  When I’m in a conversation with other people, I believe that God is also in the room listening and guiding.  When I’m driving down the road, conversation with God is one of my favorite pastimes – even audible conversation!  What I needed to realize is not that I needed to pray more often.  Rather, what I needed to realize is that every step of every day needs to be lived in pray.  Prayer is not something I do when my eyes are closed.  Prayer is something that I do with every breath I take.

Do you pray continuously?  What does that mean to you?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Thessalonians 5:18-22

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