You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness… Instead, we were like young children among you. 1 Thessalonians 2:5-7
Paul doesn’t enter like a spiritual superstar when he preaches the Gospel in Thessalonica. Instead, he says he comes like a young child. Small children are refreshingly honest about who they are because they haven’t learned to act like something they aren’t. There are no pretenses. Paul arrives in Thessalonica after suffering and being treated outrageously in Philippi (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Instead of masking his troubles, he is vulnerable and real—causing many to receive his gospel message.
Paul models Jesus-followers should “be real.” It isn’t easy being authentic with others, even in God’s family. Children let us know how they feel. Over time, we let embarrassment kick in and openness disappear. We mask our true feelings behind a picture of perfection. But wearing a mask of perfection stifles communication, creates barriers and makes us unapproachable. For our faith to grow—we need to be more transparent.
That can be hard. But we can pray for God’s guidance when and where to share our hurts and imperfections. Pastor Jeff Manion teaches, “Not everyone needs to know, but SOMEONE needs to know.” On the flip side, we are a good family member when we listen with kindness and concern when someone comes to us being open and vulnerable.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
If you are struggling, ask God to help you take a step toward “being real” with someone you trust. It could be your small group leader, a pastor or ministry leader at your Ada Bible campus or a close friend. Trust God to help you initiate a conversation.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.