Please welcome guest blogger and She Speaks graduate, Unity Faith Miller:
It’s that time of year again ̶ that time everyone loves and dreads ̶ where you see more faces in church and people being friendlier to each other. But for some, the forgotten, joy never comes; whatever the circumstance ̶ joblessness, loneliness, abandonment, homelessness, addiction, loss ̶ these are far from happy holidays.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-16 says, “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always.”
Paul asks us to respect those that labor over us in Christ’s name, to support and encourage each other, especially those that are fainthearted and weak, and to be patient toward each other recognizing that we all have our faults. We should also respond to each other according to what our needs are and if we are wronged we do not respond by repaying “evil for evil."
He ends these verses saying, regardless of our circumstances, we should always rejoice and support each other (see also 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3, “and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God's co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles”).
Now these verses referred to the Christians doing for Christians, but it also is meant for us to do for the non-believers as well (for what we do for the least of theses we do for our Heavenly Father).
My challenge for us this holiday season: rejoice, be thankful, and encourage all you come in contact with this year and in doing so we will see God’s glory and spirit throughout this season, because we will be taking the focus off ourselves and remembering others that may have been forgotten.
Unity Faith Miller is a single mom of Thaddeus. By trade she is a nurse but the Lord has called her to the ministry of encouraging hurting women to live life with joy regardless of the hardships. She facilitates Bible studies, speaks, writes, and is a Christian Life Coach-in-training.