On Being True Companions

On Being True Companions

“Let us be paracletes to each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Remember that a paraclete is called/invited to come alongside someone in order to help and bear burdens, through advising, reminding, advocating, comforting, listening, exhorting, teaching and encouraging, with the ultimate purpose of pointing to God and glorifying Him.

The following scriptures help unpack what¬†us little¬†paracletes look like. The parentheses indicate when a form of the word paraclete was used, and how it was generally translated. Keep the bigger picture of paraclete’s meaning, though, as you read.

Acts 4:36 – Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means Son of (Encouragement, Comfort), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostle’s feet.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all (comfort), who (comforts) us in all our troubles, so that we can (comfort) those in any trouble with the (comfort) we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our (comfort) overflows.

Romans 15:4-6 – Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the (encouragement) of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and (encouragement) give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:1-2 – If you have any (encouragement) from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Philemon, verse 7 – Your love has given me great joy and (encouragement), because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Colossians 2:1-3 – My purpose is that they may be (encouraged) in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

2 Corinthians 7:4, 6-7, 13 – I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly (encouraged); in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds… God, who (comforts) the downcast, (comforted) us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the (comfort) you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 – May the Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal (encouragement) and good hope, (encourage) your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

“Jesus Christ knew men (and women). We do not try enough to know our fellow man. We are ready enough to judge them; but we do not try enough to understand them. We should give ourselves an opportunity to understand humanity, to know those who are about us, and from them to know the individual, until we are a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Every Christian ought to be a refuge.” (George MacDonald, Growth in Grace and Knowledge)