Positive Teaching

Diane Bloem

READ : 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10

The apostle Paul didn’t call it self-esteem. He did not have a degree in psychology. He probably never read books about positive thinking, but he practiced these modern encouragement principles when he instructed the Thessalonians. In his no-nonsense call to holy living Paul recognizes that these believers are trying to please God (v. 1) and are faithful in loving believers in their area (v. 10). He considers them to be well taught by himself under the authority of Jesus (v. 2). But he challenges them to love even more. In commending their love, Paul models his own teaching. He encourages them. Encouragement is a dimension of love Christlike love.

Teachers and coaches and parents and brothers and sisters and babysitters who point out flaws and failings but do not recognize effort or success are not loving, and they are not well-loved. More is achieved and people are happier when they are praised and encouraged.

God is our teacher and example as we strive to love and encourage one another: “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other” (v. 9). Are we the Lord’s attentive students? Are we looking for things to commend so that we may lovingly encourage God’s children?


Loving Lord, thank You for loving us. Continue to teach us how to love. Amen.