Online Bible Commentary
Proper Christian Behavior
1 Thessalonians 2:5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness--God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (NKJV)
Paul and Silas planted a church in Thessalonica, Macedonia in early 50 A.D. on Paul’s second missionary journey. Paul wrote this letter in late 50 or early 51 AD. Timothy delivered the letter to the church shortly thereafter. This was Paul’s second letter, after his letter to the Galatians.
In this passage, Paul gives an account of his and Silas’ behavior while in Thessalonica. This account serves as an example to all Christians of proper Christian behavior.
In relating to the Thessalonian believers Paul and Silas never stooped to insincere flattery (v. 5a). They were always honest and forthright. This honesty extended to their ministry. Their motive was pure, not driven by a desire to profit financially (v. 5b).
They did not “seek glory from men”, even though they “might have made demands as apostles of Christ” (v. 6). Those who minister the gospel are entitled to financial compensation, but Paul and Silas were careful not to ask for financial help from these new believers. They did not want their motive to be questioned. Their motive was love, for God and His children.
They were “gentle” with these baby Christians, “just as a nursing mother” is with “her own children” (v. 7). In true Christian love, Paul and Silas “were well pleased” to teach the Gospel to them (v. 8a). Not only that, they shared their “own lives, because you had become dear to us” (v. 8b). They were transparent and authentic when relating to the Thessalonians in love.
Paul and Silas were also hard workers. They worked hard “night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you” (v. 9a). They not only worked hard as “we preached to you the gospel” but Paul also worked hard as a tentmaker to support his ministry (v. 9b).
They behaved “devoutly and justly and blamelessly…among you who believe” (v. 10). Paul and Silas “exhorted, and comforted, and charged (testified to) every one of you, as a father does his own children” (v. 11). They displayed the same love that a loving father does for his children.
The goal for Paul and Silas was “that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (v. 12). The goal was to make them strong Christians for the rest of their lives.
The proper Christian behavior modeled by Paul and Silas was necessary for growing the Kingdom of God. They are models for us all.
As we minister to others they are doing more than listening to our words. They want to know that we love them and that we actually live out the words we are saying. They want us to be authentic and transparent, real in every way.
Theodore Roosevelt was credited with saying “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This adage also applies to ministry.