Posts Tagged ‘First Epistle to the Thessalonians’

In the fall of the year, Linda, a young woman, was traveling alone up the rutted and rugged highway from Alberta to the Yukon. Linda didn’t know you don’t travel to Whitehorse alone in a rundown Honda Civic, so she set off where only four-wheel drives normally venture. The first evening she found a room in the mountains near a summit and asked for a 5 A.M. wakeup call so she could get an early start. She couldn’t understand why the clerk looked surprised at that request, but as she awoke to early- morning fog shrouding the mountain tops, she understood. Not wanting to look foolish, she got up and went to breakfast. Two truckers invited Linda to join them, and since the place was so small, she felt obliged. “Where are you headed?” one of the truckers asked. ‘Whitehorse’

“In that little Civic? No way! This pass is dangerous in weather like this.” “Well, I’m determined to try,” was Linda’s gutsy, if not very informed, response. “Then I guess we’re just going to have to hug you,” the trucker suggested. Linda drew back. “There’s no way I’m going to let you touch me!”

“Not like THAT!” the truckers chuckled. “We’ll put one truck in front of you and one in the rear. In that way, we’ll get you through the mountains.” All that foggy morning Linda followed the two red dots in front of her and had the reassurance of a big escort behind as they made their way safely through the mountains. Caught in the fog in our dangerous passage through life, we need to be “hugged.” With fellow Christians who know the way and can lead safely ahead of us, and with others behind, gently encouraging us along, we, too, can pass safely.


Verses that support Godly Fellowship

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.


Hebrews 10:25 Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,


1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.


Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.


Ephesians 5:30 Because we are members of his body.


Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

One of my pet peeves has always been someone meddling in other people’s business. One dictionary defines meddling as.…”to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern : interfere without right or propriety.” I think the definition pretty much speaks for itself.

Let’s take a look at the secular definition of meddling now, and later we’ll address the Biblical concept. As you see in the definition above, the major reason that that should keep us from meddling is that it’s just not our business. More Pastor’s have been hurt, marriages have been broken up, more friendships destroyed, more jobs lost, because of meddling over any other reason. Most of the people who are guilty of what I call, “Being a busybody” claim that they are interfering in the business of others because they care. If they really cared they would be on their knees and praying out of concern, not pointing their fingers in judgement. If we see someone doing something that we think is wrong, always remember there’s a difference between meddling and Biblical correction (See Matthew 18:15-17). If we see a friend who is being hurt by another person, then ask of you can help, don’t assume the role of a mediator (Unless asked, then make sure you are guided my Biblical principles and prayer). You may not know both sides, or the entire story.

I have taken the time to list a few of the Biblical approaches to meddling below. I think the first one is the most important and that deals with the fact that we’re all sinners. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, most people who interfere in the lives of others say that they’re doing it to protect someone else from the sin of another. These “Reasons” for interference can be infidelity, money issues, or even as simple as just not liking someone. No matter what the issue may be, we have to allow God to mend relationships, to restore finances, or even to soften our hearts toward another person. Our meddling in a situation because we see a sin involved will not help anyone because we are sinners ourselves. We have all made mistakes, so when we sit in the chair of judgment and meddling, it’s really just being a hypocrite, because we are all sinners, and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) so when we meddle to “Help” a friend or loved one, then we have become a part of the problem rather than a piece of God’s solution.

I hope I haven’t been to abrupt today but as you can see, this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I have been the victim of people in the Church who didn’t like me, or the way I preached, so they played the game of “Church Survivor,” and ran me out of God’s house. I have seen first hand how hard it is when you make a mistake, try to restore the relationship, only to have the repairs you’re making torn down by someone else who meddles and ruins what you have worked so hard to restore. But I’m not alone, there are millions in the same boat in me. We’ve all been hurt at one point of another by someone who put it quite bluntly, is putting their nose where it doesn’t belong.

So in conclusion, I’ll leave you with 1 Corinthians 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Ask yourself when the opportunity to meddle presents itself, “Will my becoming involved in this situation be for the glory of God, or is it a hindrance to Him?”  You answer will determine your character.


Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Proverbs 26:17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.


1 Thessalonians 4:11 And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,


1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.


Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

temptAbstain from all appearance of evil1 Thessalonians 5:22

When it comes to sin, we often set ourselves up for defeat. We try to see how close we can get to moral failure, or heady success, or romantic involvement without doing anything wrong.

Paul, however, tells us that is wrong. Our goal should be, not merely to keep from committing big, public sins but to abstain from anything that might lead to sin for us, or look like sin to others. We are to foster a pure heart and an irreproachable Christian witness.

While this command does not give the legalist the right to add to God‘s law or raise God’s standard of holiness, it should give the sincere Christian a timely warning about the dangers of sin. It is not to be played with, tested out, or carelessly ignored. It is to be avoided at all costs.

Don’t be satisfied with merely escaping the culmination of any sin; abstain from sin’s beginnings, from its first flickering flame.

And avoid all appearance of evil. We are quick to judge the besetting sins of others, and equally quick to defend our own. Yet no sin is acceptable to God and so no sin should be downplayed by us. Every sin — whether public and noticeable or private and indiscernible — must be conscientiously avoided or battled.

What about you? Are you flirting with sin, or are you shunning its very appearance? Is your heart and mind consecrated to the Lord, and is your life above reproach to the glory of God?