Monday, February 28, 2011

Encouraging Others Without Puffing Them Up

For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God,
(1 Thessalonians 3:9)

In the passage above, Paul is encouraging the Thessalonian believers. However, he masterfully encourages them without stroking their egos, which is sometimes difficult to accomplish. Don Carson says this about this passage:
[Paul] encourages Christians by thanking God for His grace in their lives. More precisely, he encourages Christians by telling them that he thanks God for His grace in their lives. Thus he has simultaneously drawn attention to the Thessalonians’ spiritual growth, thereby encouraging them, and insisted that God is the one to be thanked for it, thereby humbling them. There is simply no way that these believers can thoughtfully listen to what Paul says and then smugly pat themselves on the back: God, and God alone, is to be praised for the signs of grace in their lives. Yet nonetheless they cannot help but feel encouraged to learn that the apostle himself has observed God’s work in their lives and rejoices because of it. … So what we need, then, is a prayer life that thanks God for the people of God, and then tells the people of God what we thank God for. (pp. 87-88)

~ D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers

1 comment:

boo4baby said...

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