Tag Archives: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

That’s The Way To Do It

We all do things for different motives.  Often we are trying to help, sharing knowledge or experience, or passing on advice; it is possible that sometimes we are guilty of manipulation or even gentle coercion, maybe (dare I say it) even nagging, trying to bring someone else round to our point of view.

Perhaps sometimes it seems that the end justifies the means, but is that necessarily the case?  Is there a better way?  A right way?

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (CEV)

Paul’s Work in Thessalonica

My friends, you know that our time with you wasn’t wasted. As you remember, we had been mistreated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.

You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed.We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.But as apostles, we could have demanded help from you. After all, Christ is the one who sent us. We chose to be like children or like a mother nursing her baby. We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God’s message.

Paul is keen to impress upon the Thessalonians that he did things the right way and with the right motives.  He brought the gospel to them straight.  With no gimmicks, no tricks, no outlandish claims.  He didn’t dress the message up to be what they wanted to hear, and he wasn’t doing it for his own glory.  He just brought what God had asked him to say.

Are we so trustworthy with God’s message?  Can I be trusted to bring it straight?  Without additions, fuss, wild claims or any compulsion to ‘look at me and what I’m doing’.  Do I let God’s message speak for itself without feeling I have to make it something more?

Because God’s word stands – as is.  It is powerful and life-changing all by itself.  Can God trust me to share it?

Lord,
I come as I am,
just as I am,
nothing fancy,
no bold claims,
just wanting to get things right
to do them your way.

Lord,
may I go with your word,
just as it is,
no gimmicks,
no tricks,
no pointing at me.
May your word
stand in its power
and change lives
through you.

Lord Thy Word Abideth

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3 reasons

I don’t have to come here to be insulted, I can get that at home!  So the saying goes…

Such has been Paul’s experience in Philippi he says, but he has not let it put him off coming to Thessalonica, and with the courage given to him by God, he has continued to bring the Good News.

Paul has three reasons for doing what he’s doing, and risking all the abuse he gets:

  • He’s not trying to please people – but God
  • He always speaks as God wants
  • He’s ready to share, not just the good news – but their lives as well

Paul and his companions have lived a life that pointed to God.  It would have been easier at times not to, but they knew the Good News had to be lived and told, and so they set to it.  And they do it all because of love.  They love the Thessalonians, along with the other communities they have visited, so much, they are willing to suffer insult and persecution to please God, to speak as he wants them, and to share their very lives.

Their love is so overwhelming, that they can do little other than share.

But what about me?!

What are we prepared to put up with, so that we can continue to share the good news with others?

How much of our lives are we prepared to share?

Are we trying to please people – or only God?

Lord,

I know what you ask of me,

but I find it hard.

I don’t want to put all of me out there –

I want to keep some bits for myself;

I so want people to like me;

I like a reasonably easy life…

Lord,

fill me so full of your love for others

that I can do no other

than live solely for you