Value and Respect | Thessalonians

In our fast-paced and often divided world, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of treating others with value and respect towards every individual. What will you be known for? It will ultimately be determined by who you’re seen with. A circle of division, tension, and frustration will always push you towards apathy and pessimism. However, the right community of friends, leaders, and coworkers will often result in joy, encouragement, and healthy growth.

The early church community of Thessalonica shows us that keeping a tight circle of love and support is the key to surviving the opposing pressures of life. 

So what is there to learn from this church to foster personal growth and build healthier circles of community?


  1. Just keep showing up. Life is full of challenges, and your faith will be tested. When you encounter difficulties, remember what it means to “live different.” Hold onto your faith and remain hopeful, knowing that your perseverance is seen and valued by God. This means don’t stop showing up! Don’t stop showing up to church! Don’t stop showing up with God in your personal time. Don’t stop showing up to circles where you can grow. Prioritize the show up, even when life is hard.
  2. Lead with compassion. Again, what do you want to be known for? Let love, integrity, and compassion be the reputation that precedes you. Make a conscious effort to listen to others without interruption. This will show that you value their perspectives and feelings. Demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you want to see in others. Your actions will inspire more than your words ever could. It’s important to step back, and try on someone else’s shoes. When you learn about the experiences and emotions of others, the natural response becomes kindness and support.
  3. Value others the way God values you. God expressed his love and value for all of humanity in John 3:16. His love is all-encompassing, extending grace to you (and everyone else!) regardless of flaws and differences. Make a conscious effort to value and love everyone you encounter. Is this hard? Well, yes it is! People are hard, difficult to love at times, and oftentimes bring about hurt and pain. Practicing empathy, forgiveness, and seeing others through God’s eyes is the only way to begin to shift our interactions with others. What does this like, practically? It means showing patience, offering a smile, and practicing listening before extending judgment.


Does this describe the type of community you’ve surrounded yourself with? If not, it’s time to make some changes. It starts with learning more about Jesus as you take the step to engage in a healthy faith community. Find a small group where you can gather and grow.