Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1 Thessalonians 2:5-6

1 Thessalonians 2:5-6
For we neither became in words of flattery – as you all have known – nor in a pretext of greed.  God is a witness.  Neither while seeking glory out of mankind – whether from you all or from others – while being powerful enough to insist on our own worth as apostles of Christ.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

In these verses Paul gives us three cases for which we should be on the lookout.  The first one is pretty simple.  Be on the lookout for flatterers.  We should watch out for people who simply want to praise us to gain our favor.  There is nothing wrong with honestly won praise.  But we should be leery of praise that we truly did not earn.  We should be wary of people who flatter us for no reason other than to gain a favorable impression in their eyes.

Have you ever fallen prey to a person who flattered you for the wrong reasons?  When are you susceptible to this?  What are your defenses against this?

Second Thought:

Second, we should be on the lookout for people who seek praise from us.  This is the flipside of the first thought.  Instead of being wary of people who praise us, we should be wary of people who do what they do only to get praise from us!  Again, there is nothing wrong with us legitimately praising good work.  But praise should be earned for good work, not given because someone did what we wanted them to do.  Paul is clear that he did not seek the praise.  He may have gotten it, but it wasn’t what he sought.

Are you ever guilty of seeking praise?  Are you ever guilty of giving praise to people not because they deserve it but because they desire it?

Third Thought:

Finally, Paul warns us about people who throw their weight around.  Paul was an apostle.  Paul was called out on the road to Damascus.  Jesus Christ Himself intervened upon Paul, knocked him from his horse, and broke Paul.  If there is anyone outside of the original Twelve who could have been arrogant it would be Paul!  If there was anyone who could have made demands upon the church for provision it would have been Paul!  But Paul does not do this.  Paul does not seek to use his position or status for special treatment.  We are to likewise watch out for those who use this approach in life.

Are you ever impressed by another person’s position in life?  Why is it easy to allow yourself to be impressed?  What is your defense against this?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
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