In our last visit we made a list of character flaws exhibited by false teachers seen in 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6. In contrast, let’s make a list of character strengths to look for seen in verses 1-6.
Paul indicates he sought the help of God to give him courage, following the suffering he endured in Philippi and opposition he faced in Thessalonica. With God’s help his team fearlessly dared to proclaim the gospel there.
Paul made it clear he was not trying to please men. His concern was to please God. He knew God tests and knows our hearts. We can’t fool Him. He had a strong conviction that he was approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. He declared that his confidence came from relying on God’s activity to authenticate his ministry.
The picture you get from this list in contrast to the one we considered before is this: His ministry did not revolve around his own interests or benefits. His one concern was being faithful in carrying out his God given assignment, leaving the results of his ministry in God’s hands. He didn’t resort to trickery or deception or flattery. If men didn’t praise him, that was OK, so long as God approved him and what he was doing.
There is a ring of authenticity when we approach the Christian life and our service for God with this kind of attitude and conviction. So let me ask you. Are you getting input from men or women of character? Do a reality check.