June 27 - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Saturday, June 29, 2013

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Paul just doesn't let up, does he!  In this passage, he is dealing with those in the congregation who seem to believe that they don’t need to respect those in the workplace. This is one of the big struggles we have in today’s culture – a complete lack of respect for those in authority and even our peers.

It is easy to believe that we would do their job better than they do and to top it off, we find it necessary to make that belief very public.

I've heard the question posed over and over – would you rather be right than in a relationship?  Most of the times, the answer is – we would rather be right. I had many employees who believed that they knew the right way to do things without taking into consideration that Carol and I had been doing the job for many years.  It was important to listen to them and take their idea into consideration, but if they continued to insist on doing things they way they believed to be right, rather than what we had asked them to do, even after learning that their way  really wasn't very smart; it was time to sit down and have a chat about authority.  I hated those conversations, knowing that when it got to that point, it wouldn't be much longer before they needed to find another place to work.

Authority and respect had been tossed out the window and they soon became sullen and difficult to manage because their insistence on right over relationship pulled them away from any hope for peaceful resolution.

Paul encourages us to make the relationship more important than our need to be right.  It is in doing so that we will not only create peace, but it is there where we will find peace.

How far does this go?  If you choose to belittle, denigrate or slander anyone who is in authority over you, no matter who they are … you are the one who creates discord. It isn't easy to choose the other path. It’s not a path I choose easily.  But, rather than create chaos, I’m slowly learning to walk away.

Choose peace.