14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
What does it mean to live as the body of Christ? What does that look like? There are many places in the Scriptures we could turn to help us define our responsibilities towards one another, but in these closing verses of I Thessalonians Paul gives us a litany of commandments that are the clear and logical result of what it means to be loving; to love one another just as we have been loved by God. As we go about loving each other through admonishment, encouragement and helping let us remember that the key to continuing in that love is to learn to be patient with each other. You see God is working in us all to conform us to the image of his Son, but the rate at which God works in each of us is different. That’s why Paul calls us to be patient with each other. So admonish the idle, but be patient; encourage the fainthearted, but be patient; and help the weak, but be patient. My friends, as God is being patient with you (and if you are anything like me he needs a lot of patience), so you too need to be patient with your fellow brothers and sisters as they grow in the grace of God.