1 Thessalonians 2: Earning Trust
How do we reach other people with the gospel? How are we able to find that connection? In 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul makes a really good point about how he gained credibility among the people of Thessalonica.
1Th 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1Th 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
1Th 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
They specifically did not want to be a burden to the people, so they made sure to work and essentially earn their keep. They didn’t want to look like conmen trying to benefit off of other people’s generosity. Rather, they wanted the focus to be on the message. They wanted the people to hear the Gospel.
I think about that for you and me since we probably are not traveling missionaries. How does this passage apply to us? We need to care about people. I don’t know that anyone wants to listen to anyone who doesn’t care about them. If Paul had not been willing to prove that he cared about the people and was only there to take advantage of the people of Thessalonica, then I don’t think that anyone would’ve listened.
If somebody has statistics, I would be very interested to see them, but I believe that most people are brought to Jesus by someone they have a close relationship with. I am sure that revival meetings and things like that have their place, and I know that they are effective for many people, but I still think that the true power comes from God working through a personal relationship.