Blessed to be a blessing to others
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NLT
The Thessalonians are aware how hard Paul, Silas, and Timothy worked so they could bring the gospel to them and “would not be a burden to” any of them by working night and day to earn a living. They are there not for the sake of gaining profit or to use the believers for their own selfish desires. In fact, they worked long hours as tent makers so they can maintain independence and not to be under any obligation as they faithfully fulfill God’s commission for them. In this way, the preaching of the gospel will not be hindered. They were “devout and honest and faultless” in their dealings with the believers. Their devotion is to God and His glory. They were focused on the truth of God’s Word that they will not deviate from it. Their lives were impeccable so there will be no accusations or offense that will tarnish their testimony. This is how they earned the trust of the people. The believers are willing to be admonished like how a “father treats his own children.” They knew that the spiritual guidance that they will provide for the believers will help them in their spiritual progress. Growing into spiritual maturity is what will enable believers face difficult challenges in life. The way Paul and his companions lived their lives serving God by leading others spiritually should provide an example and encouragement to us as we minister to others. The devil is out there constantly placing hindrances that will trip believers hoping that they will be discouraged. Once we begin to limp and wobble because we have become despondent facing trials, it will be hard for us to think clearly and our desire to minister to others will also diminish. Just like Paul, God wants to use our experiences overcoming challenges in life so we could provide comfort and encouragement strengthening fellow believers. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 4:4).