“Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money” - 1 Thessalonians 2:5
I grew up here in the Charlotte area. One of the more vivid memories I have from my teen years was the rise and fall of the tv evangelist who made a fortune manipulating people with twisted scriptures and fake tears. It left a deep impression on me and led me to a lifelong commitment to make sure people know this is about giving Jesus their life, not the preacher their money. People really seemed to up their cynicism after a few weeks of the money-grabbers being all over the airwaves. It made sharing Jesus just that much more of a challenge. Its in the Bible too, this struggle to overcome the cynicism sown by con men. That’s what Paul was addressing to the people of Thessalonica.
So whats this got to do with you? Three things:
Paul had an additional thought on all of this in 1 Corinthians 4:
So if you’re dealing with sourpuss cynics today, relax, take a breath… and get on it. They may have a point or two, sure, but don’t get discouraged along the way. Leave it to Jesus to sort it all out in the end - you just keep being His person right there where you are today!
Spark - flame - maintain.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.