“Now we urge you.” Paul gives instructions in this verse about four specific categories of action (“admonish,” “comfort,” “help,” and “be patient”) which he urges believers to do. First, the word “admonish” is the Greek word noutheteō (#3560) and it means “to warn or counsel about avoidance or improper course of conduct.” Such a warning as Paul is mentioning here is against those who are “undisciplined,” which comes from the word (ataktos, #813) that means “one who is out of step and going one’s own way.” These “undisciplined” individuals are idle and disruptive, thus ataktos is often translated as “unruly.” Second, he says to “comfort the discouraged,” which is simply to console or cheer up those who are cast down in spirit or are disheartened. Third, he says, “help the weak.” “Weak” is the word asthenēs (#772) and it means “one who is sick or ill, one who is powerless and weak, who is ineffective and limited in capacity, or one who is helpless and lost.” Believers are to have an interest in and offer assistance to those who are in a position of weakness, whatever that category might be. Finally, Paul says, “be patient with everyone.” “Be patient” is the Greek word makrothumeō and it means “to bear up under provocation (when being provoked, angry, or indignant) without complaint.” “Patience” is being forebearing and gracious toward others even when you do not feel like it or when you have a justified reason not to be. In these four things, Paul exhorts believers to pursue after the godly quality and virtue contained in such actions. In this way, you will do good unto others and God’s love will be seen in your actions.
“brothers and sisters.” See commentary on Romans 1:13.
“admonish.” The Greek word translated “admonish” here in 1 Thessalonians 5:14 is noutheteō (#3560 νουθετέω) and according to the BDAG Greek-English lexicon it means, “to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct,” hence it is usually translated “admonish” or “warn.” Although it can be translated “exhort,” “counsel,” or “instruct” in some specific contexts, the translator must be careful not to water down this powerful word. It almost always involves a confrontation over bad or unprofitable behavior. [For more information on noutheteō, see commentary on Col. 3:16].