“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
Paul starts his first letter to the Thessalonians by thanking God for all the members of the church in that city. I think the Thessalonians would have felt quite humble to hear that Paul valued them all this highly.
I wonder if we thank God for all our fellow believers that we worship with each week? Are we more likely to moan to God about the ones who we find it difficult to get along with than to thank Him for them? It is easy to thank God for the ones that we get along with but notice that Paul gave thanks for them all.
The Greek word used in verse 2 for all “pas” can also mean “every” or “whole”. So we can learn from Paul’s example here and thank God for everyone in church and yes that includes the difficult ones too!
If we do this then maybe it would help us to be more united as the body of Christ. Thanking God for all our fellow believers shows that we appreciate and value them. It will mean that we are less likely to criticise them. Imagine a church where there was no criticism but only thankfulness. That would be a wonderful place to worship and a place where Christ’s love radiates out for all to see.