To please God and not people
You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not a failure. You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery. For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-6 NLT
Paul reminded the believers in Thessalonica that their ministry among them was not in vain for the work resulted in people getting saved. This was despite the persecution they experienced when they were in Philippi. Paul and Silas were badly beaten, flogged, and was jailed but this experience did not deter them to continue on sharing the gospel (see Acts 16). Thus, they reached Thessalonica and saw people’s lives transformed by the message of the gospel, the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They did not compromise the message instead they remained true to what the Word of God teaches. They were faithful stewards of God’s message. Every individual who came to a saving knowledge of Christ is also a steward of God’s message. As such, they have to be found faithful. The gospel’s message is a treasure that God entrusted to us. Not only that we must protect the message but we must also share it. We need to be faithful in the eyes of God. “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). We cannot play to the people’s grandstand for we serve an audience of one. Just like Paul, when we are dedicated to sharing the gospel we will be met with great opposition. But we should not lose heart instead we should remain steadfast for in due season, there will be a harvest. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). The sharing of the gospel will result to harvest if we remain true in proclaiming the Word of God relying to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.