Paul gave guidelines for Christian’s daily living. He shows how righteousness should be put into practice in every relationship.
First of all, in verses 1 and 2, he tells believers what their relationship with God should be — giving oneself completely to God is a “reasonable” service. And it doesn’t take making a New Year’s resolution to do that.
To look at oneself honestly is to admit that, first of all, a person needs God, and next, people need each other. We have no business thinking ourselves better than another. In the Greek text, the word, “huperphroneo,” is used which means “overmuch, i.e. be vain or arrogant.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:13, Paul says that if you’re going to think highly of anyone, let it be your brother.
Christians live a life of fellowship, service and love — not a life of prohibitions, but a positive life through Christ, who saved us. Fellowship with the saints means interdependence, a right view of oneself in the Body of Christ and spiritual responsibility. Service through the Spirit means the diversity of spiritual gifts to the edification of the saints — not to elevate oneself.
Love makes it all work. Paul said, “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).
Finally, Paul said, Pray for us “that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
There are things (and opportunities) in a Christian’s life that contribute to the “free course” of the Word — love without pretense, abhor evil and cleave to good, honor, esteem, fervency, rejoicing, hospitable, caring, not gloating, sympathy, honesty, peace, giving good for evil ... and so forth.
Other things hinder the “free course” of the Word, such as pride, financial problems, exalted opinions, self-exultation, unholy living, un-Christlike personality, comfort-seeking, uncaring, negative attitude and so forth.
Christians are to be the “light” of the world and “salt” of the earth. The child of God is meant to be: 1. Consecration of entire self to God — a living sacrifice given to holy service. 2. Not conformed to this world, but sanctified, spirit-filled with a new nature and new goals. 3. Surrendered life of humility and grace. These are positive things to resolve for a new year.
A runner in a race can’t negotiate the course if it has been clogged with junk, trash or other items that block the way. Anything that could hinder has to be taken out of the way. What a wonderful time to “lay aside ...”
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Put on your running shoes — there are great things ahead in service for the child of God. “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12) and “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12: 17) — this is what our resolve should be.