Beyond race relations: Admonish one another

Colossians 3--16 2

In recent blog posts instead of examining the Verse of the Day, we have been continuing  the series based on the concept “It’s all about relationships,” the theme from a conference attended three years that related seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” These principles can be universally applied in achieving and maintaining successful relationships, but they can also be specifically applied in an area of race relations, a critically important area in America today.

These seven principles are related to verbs that connote action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” The reciprocal pronoun used in the plural carries the notion of a group of people acting upon themselves, i.e., upon one another. For example, we are to “love another and so forth. . .”

1) Love

2) Honor

3)  Forgive

4)  Encourage

5)  Admonish

6)  Serve

7)  Make peace

Earlier posts have discussed the first four principles, and today we will look at the fifth.

Admonish one another

Throughout the letters written by Paul to the believers in the some of the Churches established in First Century, we find terms related to the words admonishment or admonish. A number of references encourage believers to “admonish one another.”

Many who hear the term “admonish” associate the verb with giving orders or reprimanding or rebuking, but the concept involves more than that. Derived from variations of the Greek word nous translated “mind,” the word is primarily translated “to give advice, to warn, to put in mind (remind)” and only secondarily “to chastise” or “rebuke”. Here are places where the verb form is rendered “admonish one another,” whereby believers are mutually active in this process:

Paul speaks these words to the believers in Romans 15:14 (AMP):

Personally I am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge, and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another.

We find a similar pronouncements to the Thessalonian believers:

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (AMP):

[Sanctification and Love] Finally, believers, we ask and admonish you in the Lord Jesus, that you follow the instruction that you received from us about how you ought to walk and please God (just as you are actually doing) and that you excel even more and more [pursuing a life of purpose and living in a way that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation].

1 Thessalonians 5:14:

We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone [always controlling your temper].

Colossians 3:16 is another place where the expression “admonish one another” is found. When we look at the context of verses 15-17, we find a wonderful “gratitude sandwich” with verse 16 being right in the center of three references to being thankful, as noted in the New Living Translation:

Colossians 3:15-17:

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

More than merely saying “thank you” to God, more than giving of our abundance or giving of our time or material goods, we express our gratitude to God in everything we say and do. It is always an appropriate time to give thanks to God. One of the songs I recall from years ago declares, “Now is the right time to praise the Lord!” No matter the circumstances, no matter the conditions, weather-wise or otherwise, we are to follow this admonition:

In happy moments, praise God.

In difficult moments, seek God.

In quiet moments, worship God.

In painful moments, trust God.

In every moment, thank God.

 

 

At All Times

I will bless the Lord at all times,

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1

 

 

When God’s goodness and mercy follow closely,

And we savor the ecstasy of victory,

When joy overflows and floods our souls, we will praise God.

 

When gripped by the devices of this transient life

And caught in the straits of rising conflict and strife,

During these difficult moments, we will seek God.

 

When we long to abide within a tranquil mood

And linger in moments of sweetest quietude,

From the depths of our souls, we will worship God.

 

Despite raging seas, stormy winds and blinding rain,

When protracted pain strikes like a knife and numbs the brain

So that we can scarcely scream your name, we will trust God.

 

All along life’s journey, no matter the season,

Through every why and wherefore, for every reason

Every moment we draw breath, we will thank God.

 

We seek the Lord and ask ourselves, “What shall we do?”

“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”

“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.

Colossians 3:16 and other related scriptures offer this reminder:

To give counsel, to instruct, we seek to give warning.

The Word of Christ dwells in us that we might minister:

We put in mind, urge, and admonish one another.

Colossians 3:16 is set to music as one of verses using the term “teaching and admonishing one another”:

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: