In the Balance
1 Thessalonians 5:15 is a powerful verse that speaks to everyone,
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Notice the apostle Paul makes sure no one is excluded. That means you can't get out of this. You are either a "no one," or an "anyone" in this verse!
Paul's point about pursuing what is good for both yourselves and for all can be looked at two ways. First, he could be talking about the worshiping community as a whole. His point: Pursue what is good for the church, but also for all those outside the church. You need to think of the welfare of the church and the community in which you exist.
On a more personal level, Paul could be speaking to the need for you and I to weigh how our words, our actions, and our pursuit of that which is good for us affects others. I have to weigh that in the balance.
While a certain thing may be good for me, I need to think of how it is going to affect others. It is not just about pursuing what is good for me, even if it is something I deserve. I need to ask, "How it is going to affect others…my spouse, my kids, my friends, my church, my neighbor." I have to factor that in.
Many times people pursue something and they defend their position by saying, "Well, it's time for me to start thinking about myself. I deserve this. This is good for me."
Well, this verse allows for that. In fact, it admonishes you to pursue what is good for you, but it adds the proviso "and for all."
Eagerly pursue the things that are beneficial for you, but also that which is good for others.
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