“On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 (NLT)
Paul was an evangelist and a pastor. Here, he begins to show his heart as a pastor. This church had imitators coming around and passing through. They were not true pastor/teachers, they were coming in and teaching for money only. They were not necessarily teaching anything incorrectly, they just performed the task incorrectly. In Philippians 1:16, Paul wrote about these type of pastors who planted churches out of selfish ambition. It is very possible to preach the right message with the wrong motives.
These men viewed being a pastor as a job. They did it to make money off of the people and thought of it as some type of career. Paul, on the other hand, did not. This is what he was sharing with the church. He never demanded money from them or asked from them, they gave as they were led to by the Lord. Not only that, when Paul could not make ends meet, he had a trade as a tent maker and would work a secular job. The Bible says, “If you do not work, you do not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). That is just a simple truth. This was Paul’s message in chapter 2 because he was being accused of being a “peddler” of the gospel by his enemies.
Paul was a steward of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A steward owns nothing but is given possession of and uses everything that belongs to his master. He manages his master’s affairs and everything is used to glorify and bring attention to his master.
What has God set you over? Are you being a good steward over it or are you just passing through to make a buck? Are you doing the “right” things with the wrong motives or do you bring glory to His name in everything you do? Everything we have as Christ followers has been given by God. How are we taking care of the gifts God has given to us and put us stewards over today?
“For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” – 1 Corinthians 4:7