1 Thessalonians 2:1-13.
1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. 9 You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers. 11 As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, 12 urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.
Notes on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13.
Politicians are often criticised for speaking only what people want to hear. It is a failing in many places and aspect of public life. It can also be a challenging trap into which clergy may fall! If no feathers are ever ruffled, if no disintegrating behaviour is ever confronted, if no disruptions and conflict are ever faced then the life of communities becomes mush. So, when there are words of comfort and hope and peace they are offered because that is what is genuine and needed at that time for the building up of community. Paul was difficult but he was also very clear. What he said and did was to serve God, not to pander to factions.