For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
What characteristics make up the best kind of leader? Over the years I’ve observed several people in leadership positions, both in the business world and in ministries, but in the verses above, I think you’ll find an example of Godly leadership in the life of Paul.
First, Paul led by example. He was a hard worker and didn’t expect others to support him.
Second, his conduct was blameless and he was so confident in his behavior that he brings it up specifically.
Third, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of how he was a father figure to the believers. He challenged them and he encouraged them and charged them to “walk in a manner worthy of God.” This gives us a picture of a man who was willing to say tough things while maintaining a relationship based on fatherly love. Paul had the best interest of the Thessalonians in mind in all his actions.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are in a leadership position in some relationship in your life. Are you aware of it? Are you acting with purpose, aware that someone out there is being led by your example, in one way or another?
Read through today’s passage again and let’s consider how we can use Paul’s example as a way to inspire hope today.