Who are the most unappreciated people in the world?
Pastors, parents, people who spend their lives taking care of a stubborn mule-headed people (because we are all mule-headed at some point in life, and put a bunch of us together and you get a massive migraine…if you’re the leader, trying to be a good leader, that is).
That’s probably why in 1 Thessalonians, Paul asks readers to respect their leaders, and make their lives a bit easier. This is the corollary to the message to the church elders from Peter in 1 Peter 5:2 “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…”
It’s not easy to be a follower, relying on a leader to care for you, and it’s not easy to be a leader, taking care of a bunch of needy followers. But we should all do our part to make each others’ lives easier where we can.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’swill for you in Christ Jesus.
I’ll be honest. This was not the easiest passage to set to music. But I had to do it because when I read “now we ask you brothers,” the motif sprang into my head.
So this song has more added words than I usually prefer, in order to massage the text to fit the music (usually would rather do it the other way around). But I did my best not to cut out too many important words or add inappropriate words. Just cut out the parentheticals and you’ll basically have the verse in its original form. Sort of. 😉
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect the ones who
Work so hard among you in the Lord, the ones who admonish you
Hold them in highest regard in love for their work’s sake
And live in peace, live in peace with each other.
Be grateful always, always pray
Give thanks for everything (in every day)
For this is the will of God in Christ
Is the will of God in Christ
Is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle
Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with each other
Make sure no one pays back wrong for wrong
But always try to be kind to each other and to everybody else