“Help…” literally means “to hold on by,” to hold one’s self over against, to keep close to…support someone. You have the capabilities to do so. { Read 2 Cor 4:5.}

The idea is of supporting someone by keeping one’s self directly over against the weak one so as to sustain him.

Hiebert writes…”Let the strong put their arms around the weak and hold them up. They need to be assured that they are not forgotten or despised because of their helplessness. ”

Vine comments that…

some believers are weak through lack of knowledge of the will of God, some through lack of courage to trust God; some, who are timorous or over scrupulous, hesitate to use their liberty in Christ, some, through lack of stability or purpose, are easily carried away; some lack courage to face, or will to endure; persecution or criticism; some are unable to control the appetites of the body or the impulses of the mind. These, and all such as these, are to be the peculiar objects of the shepherd’s care, since, more than the rest, they need the sympathy and help of those who are of maturer Christian experience. For characteristic examples of such care see Ge 33:1314Lk 10:3435Jn 13:1–17. (Ibid)

John MacArthur adds that asthenes is…

used in a general sense to describe people who are simply deficient in some way (e.g., see 1Cor 1:27). Their deficiency may be a lack of education, opportunities, or finances, or perhaps a physical problem. These people sometimes find it harder to do what is right because of their “weaknesses.” According to Paul, they need more than encouragement: they actually need someone to come alongside and help them to do what they need to do. (MacArthur, J., F., Jr, Mack, W. A., & Master’s College. Introduction to Biblical Counseling: Word Pub)

Weak (asthenes) focuses on susceptibility to sin and applies to believers who struggle with abandoning sin and obeying God’s will… The weak are always impediments and stumbling blocks to growth and power in the church. (MacArthur, John: 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Press or Logos)

Neil well remarks that the presence of weak believers in the church is

no Thessalonian peculiarity … Weak souls are the normally frail human stuff of which the Christian Church consists. (Neil, William. The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians – Moffatt NT Commentary).

Based on what Paul has already said in this letter Hiebert feels that…

These three classes of individuals needing the assistance of the whole church may be identified with three groups who have already appeared in the letter: “The idle” or disorderly may be identified with the idlers of 1Th 4:1112 (note); the “timid” or fainthearted are those who are anxious about their departed loved ones (1Th 4:12151617-see notes 1Th 4:14151617) or are worried about their own salvation (1Th 5:91011-see notes 1Th5:91011); the weak are those who are suffering from temptations to lapse into immorality (1Th 4:1234567ff-see notes 1Thessalonians 4:2ff) (Ibid)

Stedman has a good word (in his comments on Romans) writing that asthenes…

means especially those whom Romans 14 describes as being “weak in the faith” {Ro 14:1KJVnote}; those who do not know very much about the doctrine of the Christian life, who have not learned the truth that sets them free and need extra help. Perhaps they are not sure of their salvation, or they feel guilty about the past and do not sense they have really been forgiven yet by God. Whatever it may be, the word is to help them, to hold them fast. That demands a little extra effort; a phone call perhaps, an invitation to lunch or a quiet talk about their needs. This is addressed to us all. We are all to watch out for one another like this. (Loving Christianly)

Matthew Henry adds that…

Some are not well able to perform their work, nor bear up under their burdens; we should therefore support them, help their infirmities, and lift at one end of the burden, and so help to bear it. It is the grace of God, indeed, that must strengthen and support such; but we should tell them of that grace, and endeavour to minister of that grace to them-{preceptaustin commentaries}


“The present imperative calls for this to be our lifestyle. “Lay hold of the weak” with the idea of supporting them and doing so after the example of Christ (cp Mk 6:34Heb 2:17-18, see also Ro 15:1Jude 1:22-23)

Paul issues an opposite command to Timothy to turn from (instead of keeping close to) those who have a form of godliness but lack the power (in context false teachers and hypocrites) (2Ti 3:5, context 2Ti 3:1-4). Antechomai – 4x in 4v in NAS – Mt 6:24 Lk 16:13 1Th 5:14 Titus 1:9. In middle voice the idea is hold oneself face to face with, holding to support or keeping one’s self directly opposite to any one. The idea is of supporting another by keeping one’s self directly over against the weak one so as to sustain him.”-{preceptaustin commentaries}

It is a continuous command. Make this your lifestyle to support the weak, {Those without strength,strengthless, used to speak of both physically and spiritually.}, Live it out…
” Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.”-{ Rom 15;1} And how to so this? “Be Patient…” not short fused with them, but long term…for patience is an attribute of Love.-{ 1 Cor 13:4}. Lovingly support the weak. You are in it for the long haul. Don’t give up…Live it out…look out for the welfare of others…

The good Samaritan did this in the physical realm and showed us what love looks like. While the two men who saw the man beaten up..looked and made a decision to walk by.

They knew the Word, but they did not Live the Word.

If they did, they would have shown Love! Don’t confuse knowing the Word with Living it out! Love is manifested towards others where it is lived out!

Live it out today, Support don’t Shun the weak… in reality we are all weak in some areas and need support from one another, and where He has strengthened us use to support the weak. It’s Love in action… The way we treat the weak!

It’s not about convenience but compassion and commitment- Christ-Like

Helping The Weak…

* It involves Involvement
* It involves Perseverance
* It involves Caring – preferring others as more important than yourself {Phil 2:3}
* It manifests the Cross in a life; no to self, yes to Him, loving others for His sake!

“Help The Weak…Patiently” as your lifestyle, by the power of the Holy Spirit.{Read Phil 2:13 NLT}. 🙂