Have you ever wondered what others think when they think of you? That can be a tricky thing. It’s certainly possible to care too much about what others think, which is rooted in an unhealthy fear of man. It’s also possible to care too little, which leads to an unhealthy aloofness or arrogance in our relationships with others (or lack thereof). Nevertheless, if we can manage to stay between those two extremes, it’s a question worth pondering.
In 1 Thessalonians 1, Paul expresses the thoughts that come to mind when he thinks about the saints in Thessalonica. He is thankful for them. He prays for them constantly. He remembers their faith, their labor of love, and their unwavering hope in Christ. He remembers their joy in receiving and responding to the gospel, even in their affliction. It’s clear that when Paul thinks of the Thessalonians, he thinks highly of them.
Can the same be said for you? When others think of you–both those inside and outside of the family of faith–what do you think comes to mind? Or perhaps a better question is this: what do you hope comes to mind? Starting with that question and working backwards is one way to help ensure that others “give thanks to God always” for you (v. 2).