The Quakers have a saying, “An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.” That person who is gruff has a story. That person who comes across as arrogant and self-serving, has a story. That person who continues to be a victim of self-affliction, has a story. I am not suggesting that gives them an excuse for their behavior, but it just may provide an explanation. There often is a lot more going on in the people we meet than we see on the outside.
Recently, I was meditating on a verse in 1 Thessalonians. It says, “We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (5:14).
What strikes me about that verse is the specific way we are to address where the person is at and what the person needs. That assumes, first of all, I know what it is the person needs. Secondly, once I know what they need, then I am to respond accordingly. Is the person idle? They need a warning from me. Is he timid? I need to put courage into him. Is she weak? I need to come alongside of that person to help them take the next step.
Thirdly, this informs me of the wrong kind of action that might actually be detrimental to them. What might happen if I give a warning to one who is timid or weak? Likely, it would lead to discouragement or even despair. Or if I encourage or help one who is idle, I might actually enable that person to continue to live irresponsibly.
So, I must take a step back to determine what is it this person needs from me right now. It goes along with the edification principle of Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I still have a long way to go on this, yet desire that my words give life to others not death that Proverbs 18:21 speaks about. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the timing of our words. Proverbs 15:23 puts it this way, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply, and how good is a timely word!” It isn’t just what we say, but how and when we say it that matters. This requires understanding, sensitivity, humility, and wisdom.
Speaking of wisdom, this summer sermon series, “Wise Up!” we will be taking a look at the book of Proverbs. We will spend most of our time in the first 9 chapters, but then will choose a few certain topics to explore in greater detail throughout the book of Proverbs.
Well, back to the passage in 1 Thessalonians 5. There was one other command that I didn’t touch on. Be patient with everyone! Everyone? Good thing I don’t have to work on that one. Haha!
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian
Are We There Yet?
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
New Sermon Series
Book of Proverbs
Coming in June
Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th.
We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration.
Mark your calendars!
On Goal Soccer Camp
June 22nd – June 26th
Register today at www.ongoal.org
K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are also available.
Visit www.laconiachurch.com/ongoal to volunteer or donate to the scholarship fund.
We already have donation requests coming in.
EBC Kids is back up and running. Nursery – Grade 5 is provided during second service. If you would like to volunteer to serve in this ministry, please contact Victoria Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you know, finding a seat on a Sunday morning can be challenging, especially when you are new to a church. Our Hospitality Team is in need of more greeters and ushers for Sunday mornings, to welcome you as you come to church. In addition, we will soon begin serving coffee in between services. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office or Pastor Dan at email@example.com