Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.— 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
There’s nothing quite like looking at a newborn baby. But as adorable as they are, infants do not really appreciate what parents do for them. This is because they have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for them yesterday, but what you are doing for them right now. The past is meaningless and so is the future. They live only for the present.
The very same is true of those who are spiritually immature. Many Christians have little or no appreciation for those who have come before them and poured out their very lives for them. Yet those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future.
If you’re a believer in Christ, it’s because someone has labored to show you His grace. If you’re growing today, it’s because someone is caring for you and feeding you spiritually. And long after we’re gone, the gospel will still be moving forward through many others.
Ministry is quite often a thankless job. So show gratitude to those who labor for you. Pray that God would bless them and their ministries, and give to them if you can. Also, pray for and give to those who will carry the banner of Christ well into the future. That’s what it means to be thankful!
Pray that God would bless those who have devoted their lives to the advancement of the gospel.
Questions for thought
Who are some people you’re grateful for that have been instrumental in your spiritual growth?
How can you show your thanks to them?