1 Thessalonians 2:6-10
1 Th 2:6 (KJB)
Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
Burdensome - Weight or load
Here the Apostle Paul continues his assurance to the Thessalonians that he was not as many religious people were. Religious people glory in their titles and even in the difference in religious apparel. Religious leaders always dress differently from the population so they can be distinguished and pointed out just as the Pharisees desired. (Mat 23:7 KJV) And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Here the Apostle Paul was not coming to seek any personal glory. He did not try to exalt himself before to the Thessalonians and he did not try to glorify and puff himself above any of the other Christians that he ministered to. Many times Paul considered himself to be a servant not desiring any exalted position. He came as an Apostle of Christ and would even do tent making rather than be a burden to the Christians he ministered to. Glorification of self is always fleeting and Paul never concerned himself with things like that. His entire focus was on the Lord Jesus Christ and eternity. Paul told the truth and that right there would not have won him any favor with anyone. So just by his message, one could tell he was not trying to exalt himself.
1 Th 2:7 (KJB)
But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
Gentle - Mild, soft, or kind
Cherisheth - To comfort or foster with loving care
Many times false teachers lay heavy burdens upon the people who join with them and here the Apostle Paul is contrasting the attitude of a true teacher versus a false teacher. As a true Apostle of the Lord Jesus, his behavior was that of a nurse or a concerned parent caring for their child. Since many were new Christians, they had to be treated with the utmost care because if they are brought up caringly, then as they mature, they will imitate the same traits which they were subjected to. Remember, they had imitated the ways of the Apostle Paul and since he treated them gently, then this way, they would, in turn treat others in the faith as gently as they were treated. Paul cared for them as a parent cares for their children. Since he started the church there, he wanted to bring those Christians along in the love and nurture of the Lord.
1 Th 2:8 (KJB)
So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
Being affectionately desirous - Long for and a desire that motivates one to action
Imparted - Give over, share, or bestow
Dear - Beloved
Here is a verse which gives a great presentation of the whole gospel. Christianity is not something which is just a sermon from a pulpit or tract handing or even a Christian radio show. Those things are only part of it. The essence of the true Gospel is that one is willing to give of themselves to others. Paul had such an affectionate desire for the Thessalonians that this desire motivated him to not only give them the Gospel, but he was willing to give himself to them, and not just in a superficial manner. When Paul states that he wants to give his soul for them, he is speaking of a 100% dedication to them, withholding nothing. Many Christians will volunteer to do things but only if it does not interfere with other things. How many would be willing to give themselves totally over to a need or a person at hand? That is the acid test. Dedication and commitment are two major tenets of the Christian life. Christianity is a selfless life and not a selfish life. Paul saw the Thessalonians as beloved in his eyes and also in the Lordís eyes. If Paul saw these Christians as beloved, the Lord would also see them as dear since it was He who died for them and dispatched Paul to grow and nurture them.
1 Th 2:9 (KJB)
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.
Travail - Toil, hardship, exertion
Chargeable - Burden
Preached - Proclaimed, declared, or heralded
Paul is having them remember when he was there that he engaged in much labor which resulted in much travail. He continuously labored for them because his sincere desire was that he would not become a burden to any of them. He was seeing how they would use their money to send forth the Gospel and he did not want to use any of those funds for his personal use plus this way no one could ever accuse him of being in the ministry for financial gain. Paul was willing to work part of the day and then the rest of the day proclaim the Gospel. This is a good example for all Christians. Those who hold a full time job are not hindered by that job to bring the Gospel to others. Even if you are required to work long hours, there is always a lunch room where you can place some tracts. Place a Gospel sticker on your car and park close to an entrance where it will get maximum exposure and if the Lord opens the spiritual ears of anyone, they will find you. Basically, this verse is giving a principle that each one who does have a job can fund their own ministry as Paul did and it can be just as effective as those who do ministry 8 to 5. I donít like to use the term full time ministry because every Christian is in full time ministry. The problem is that too many make excuses for themselves as to why they cannot get involved. Sending money to missions is fine and should be done but as we saw in the previous verse there must be personal involvement as well. We always seem to find enough time to watch TV, weekend sports, or games on line but there never seems to be enough time to buy a pack of tracts and hit the streets. If we really did an assessment of our Christian walk, how many of us could honestly say that we are as committed as the Apostle Paul? I dare to say, not many.
1 Th 2:10 (KJB)
Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
Holily - Devoutly, oneís actions and attitudes in relation to God
Justly - Righteously
Paul states that the Thessalonians are witness to the fact that he and his company had impeccable behavior. In fact, Paul not only states the Thessalonians are witness to this but Paul calls upon the name of God, that He too, is a witness to the actions and motives of Paul and his party. (Prov 15:3 KJV) The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Paul knew these Scriptures that the eyes of the Lord are everywhere, seeing both evil and good. Paul did not have any qualms about stating that God too was his witness. In contrast to the actions and greed of the false teachers who were in religion just to make a name for themselves and make money, Paul and his band had the purest of motives in bringing the Gospel. They were very devout in their actions and they were always focused upon bringing the Gospel and seeing people become saved and matured in the faith. The false teachers would just preach their deceptions and then would take up the offering. False teachers are always a burden to those whom they come to. Their motives are unholy, unjust, and definitely blameworthy and that goes right down to the present.