Sometimes, Christian exhortation can get you down. It’s not that it’s not edifying when received well, but sometimes we don’t receive it well.
If we’re not ready to receive the exhortation, we feel judgment. And of course an encounter with God’s word is always a judgment, because it reveals who we are.
We should be receiving God’s word with joy, because it’s good news, the words of life, the path to Paradise. But sometimes we’re too weak to walk the path.
In those moments of our spiritual weakness, we can use encouragement to move us toward strength. So comes this little gem in today’s epistle reading:
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (I Thessalonians 5:11)
Paul here tells the Thessalonians to comfort and edify each other. But then he adds this: just as you also are doing.
In other words, Good job, you guys!
As Christians, we don’t need to be showered with compliments. A steady stream of affirmation is actually not good for us and can even be addicting. But in a moment of weakness, it can be good to hear that we’re doing something right and to keep doing that thing.
The good things you’re doing, keep doing them. Keep going, and remember Christ, for Whose love you began.