Dealing With Difficult Brethren

Today we’ll be studying 1 Thessalonians 5.14-15. Here, Paul addresses five categories of struggling Christians. In just about every local church you have groups of individuals who are either wayward, worried, weak, wearisome, or wicked. How do we handle it? What should be our attitude?

I. THE BACKGROUND

    1. Church in Thessalonica gets it start in Acts 17.1-9.
    2. 1 Thessalonians. Many commendations. But, they weren’t without problems.

II. 5 TYPES OF DIFFICULT PEOPLE:

    1. 5.14b – admonish the idle. (Wayward Group)
      1. “Unruly” is a military term. Soldier out of line; Insubordinate.
      2. They are to be admonished. (To come along side and put sense in their head.)
      3. But, this is not judgmentalism. This is not from a level of superiority.
    2. 5.14c – Encourage the fainthearted. (Worried Group)
      1. Fainthearted comes from a compound word. Greek word for “soul” + “little.”
      2. Answer? Encourage them. To “speak to someone by coming close to his side.”
    3. 5.14d – Help the weak. (Weak Group).
      1. They might be especially vulnerable to specific areas of temptation and sin.
      2. We are to “help” them: “hold firmly to, hold tightly to; or support them.”
    4. 5.14e – Be patient with them all. (Wearisome Group)
      1. This is the person who so much is given, yet very little is returned.
      2. Told to be patient.  Think of the patience of God – Isaiah 63.7-9.
      3. Forgiving – Matthew 18.21-22 – 70 x 7.
    5. 5.15 – Those who are wicked. Context: Christians inside the church.
      1. How do we treat the wicked? 5.15. No retaliation. Compare Romans 12.19-21.

III. HOW TO MOVE PAST THESE PROBLEMS?

    1. 7 goals of our ministry. We each need to commit to:
      1. 2.10-12 – Walk worthily.
      2. 3.2 – Be established in your faith. Why?
      3. 3.8 – Acquire spiritual strength.
      4. 3.12 – Abound in love for each other. 4.9-10 – do it more and more.
      5. 3.13 – Be blameless, have a holy heart.
      6. 5.11 – Encourage one another and build one another up.
      7. 5.15 – Always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

CONCLUSION:

    1. Everyone of us at one time or another is inside one of these groups.
    2. If you are struggling today, there is help. If you’ve been judgmental and harsh, there’s forgiveness. Can we help?

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