“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…for you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8,11-12).
What do you remember about your mom? Your dad? What they teach you and how did they shape your life?
In the passage above, Paul uses those two very familiar roles to describe his care for the people in the local church. More than just preaching and teaching, Paul cared for the people by sharing his life in much the same way as your mom and dad. And just as you saw your parents upclose (warts and all), Paul lived among the people. What did they see?
“…we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed” (1 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
Hard work. Holy. RIgheous. Blameless. Paul earned the right to speak into their lives. So, he encouraged and comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God (just as Paul).
People who walk the talk have credibility. Let’s all have that kind of credibility among the people in our lives.