1 THESSALONIANS 2:5
“For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed-God is witness-“
Have you ever known someone who was a master of manipulation? You could swear butter was flowing from their mouth. They were full of compliments and praises, but they were all being said with a personal motive. These people will use people to get what they want.
Paul is saying, “That is NOT who we were. We never tried to butter you up to get more of anything.” Paul’s motives were pure. He only wanted to see the Thessalonians live for Christ. He only wanted to see them find the freedom he had in the Lord Jesus. He was only thinking of them.
Our children have to be taught this. Why? Because we are naturally selfish, self-centered people. We are users, by default. We will use anyone to get ahead. That word “greed” in today’s verse means “to have more, get one more.” Someone asked Jay Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in America at the time, how much money was enough. He said, “One more dollar.”
So, teach your children to think in another way. Teach them to think like Paul. Think of others. Our motivation should be to bankrupt ourselves for the sake of others. We should be willing to give it all for Jesus. That means you have to show them how that looks by your behavior and lifestyle. Ouch! Yep, once again, they learn best by watching you.
Have you manipulated someone to get what you want? Have you purposely used someone to get ahead? Repent! Ask for forgiveness from God and the individual. Do all you can to make it right with them. If you are prone to do that, ask the Lord to show you His way. Ask Him to give you His heart for others.
Father, forgive me when I revert back to my old selfish nature. Show me how to sacrifice for the sake of those around me who need to hear the good news. Let me always think of others before myself.