So as I walk through the two letters from Paul to the Church in Thessalonica, I thought I'd pause and share some of my thoughts in writing. I often wander away from any series I tend to start on my blog/journal as I don't like to keep God in a box, but I think sometimes it's also important to finish an idea that I start. So in an attempt to finish said idea, I had a few things that I thought I'd share this week from his letters ...
This is Day 1: Click for day(s): 1, 2, 3
For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others.We see here Paul defending his motives. He's stating that he's not making things up, he's not being impure or attempting to deceive them, not intended to please man but rather God, and certainly not trying to flatter them, be greedy, or even seek glory for himself.
We (as Christians) have always come under attack (and we always will). Despite the changes in culture since the foundation of our country, Christians have seen times of peace and turmoil throughout history alike. This is not new. Today, while the pendulum has begun to swing away from God (at least in this country) it's no wonder we are having to defend ourselves more. However I'm willing to bet that when you or I defend our faith against someone who is attacking it directly or just unaware and attacking us based on views that society has misunderstood ... we begin to get ... offensive.
I believe the root of that feeling of offensiveness is called by another biblical name ... pride.
You see, Paul would not put these words into writing for no reason. Somewhere there was someone likely accusing him of doing the things he countered above. However when I read his words (and by all means read the letter in context yourself) I do not get any feeling of pride at all. He's not defending because he has arrogance ... he's defending because he has confidence.
I'm sorry to burst your bubble but your amazing words and dialog are not going to convince anyone of the Gospel, and certainly your hammer of justice won't do it either. That's God's task ... let us stop trying to play God. Does this mean we don't respond? That apologetics are not necessary? Certainly not! It just means that our response should be in confidence in Him and not arrogant pride in us. His light will shine through if we let it, but anger, bitterness, and malice will eclipse all that light He wants to shine through.
Rest ... rest in Him.
... and let us defend in confidence when needed. If you're blood pressure is rising, I bet your pride is too ...