To Each, His Own....
I Thessalonians 5:14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
Sometimes, pastors such as myself, are guilty of a "one size fits all" approach of ministry. This comes out in preaching, counseling, and coaching situations. What Paul prescribes in the passage above is specific. It calls us to deal with each situation/individual uniquely, based on what they're experiencing.
Let's break-down what he shares here:
* Warn the lazy. Those who are just not willing to do what's needed to change, whether that's financial needs that could be met if the person would take a job or, spiritual needs that require some action on their part. But, if the issue isn't laziness, then the counsel shouldn't be a harsh warning.
* Encourage those who are timid. Even in the case of someone who won't get-up and take action, the issue may be fear, not laziness. Satan uses fear as a primary weapon. God's love drives it out (I Tim. 1:7). Sometimes we need to help them take a stand against fear.
* Take tender care of...(the) weak. Some are physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally weak due to past hurts. They may need spiritual healing and a spiritual healing prayer process may be the answer. We have to listen carefully to discern this and act accordingly.
* Be patient. This one is universal. Even the lazy need patient chiding and reminding versus anger or rough treatment. God has often reminded me of his patience toward me when I'm acting impatiently toward others.
So...whether you are in fulltime ministry or not, seek to provide care for others based on their real need. Literally, when it comes to serving others, "To each, His Own!"
To that end,