GraceLife Blog 44-Stylin’, Inspirational

Paul writes a letter to the church of Thessalonica complimenting their attitudes.  The letter was written to encourage the young church to become stronger because they had actually been short changed on the amount of time they got to spend with the apostles.

One of the most striking practices that Paul uses while he tells Thessalonica to stay encouraged in faith is his way of sounding encouraging as he tells them.  In other words, he practices what he preaches.

Paul was a master at communication.  He was a master of language.  When he instructed people to stay encouraged, he structured his words to remove any piece of language that might sound negative or discouraging.  He didn’t just say “Hey, bro, stay encouraged.”  Even when he wanted them to try harder, he put it in a way that didn’t make it sound like they were doing a bad job.  In other words, he was inspiring.

Here is an example: “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.  And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia.  Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).

What he is saying is “Keep up the good work.  And, yes, there is room for improvement, but you are doing a great job by the power of God.”  In opposition, Paul could have said “Now about brotherly love we need you to do a better job.  You have been taught by God, but you are doing it wrong.  Make the adjustments and get better.”  Paul didn’t put it that way because that might make them want to quit the church.  That might make them feel like all their hard work to change themselves for Christ was for nothing.

Paul often says when dealing with newly formed churches that he treats them like a mother unto her child, caring for them and being as gentle as possible with them.  He does this because young ones are discourage more easily than adults, and every new Christian is going to be a child in Christian years.  That’s why being saved by Christ is called being born again, because we are suppose to transform our minds, start over in our way of thinking, to learn a new way to live our lives.

Becoming a new Christian is like telling a guitarist to flip his guitar upside down and to learn how to play like Jimi Hendrix.  It’s going to take some time to learn how to do that, to learn and grow in the new style.  Lots of old habits need to be broken.  So saying that Christians are born again is a fitting analogy.  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

About Gabe Redel

The Xtreme Blog is a creative approach to explaining the benefits of living a life for Jesus Christ. Contact the Xtreme Blog at

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