Category : General
1 Thessa.2: 8 (KJV)
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
A common expression is “The ends justify the means.” But this is only true as long as something good happens at the end – that is, whatever we want to happen – then it doesn’t matter how we get to that point. However, the question then is “would this be a fair representation of our Christian lives as we seek to tell other people the good news? Is that the way Paul viewed his evangelism and preaching? It doesn’t matter how you do it, so long as you get a result, so long as someone professes faith (whether or not they’re genuinely converted)?
Here we find Paul saying they had such intense love for the people that he was not only willing and forward to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to them, but also to give his own live for their sake, because they were dear, because they were beloved by him. The words used here by the apostle are expressive of the strongest affection and attachment. The word here rendered “being affectionately desirous” occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means to “long after, to have a strong affection for.” The sense here is, that Paul was so strongly attached to them that he would have been willing to lay down his life for them. He was so desirous of their salvation, that he was willing not only to labor, but if need be to die to promote it. So genuine and cordial was the love of Paul and his companions for the Thessalonians, that they did not merely deliver their message as officials seeking to discharge a responsibility laid upon them, but they were willing to sacrifice their lives for them, if need were. To be willing to communicate the knowledge of the gospel was in itself a strong proof of love, even if it were attended with no self-denial or hazard in doing it. Carefully note that Paul really enjoyed sharing the gospel with others. To him it was not drudgery or a mere duty, or something simply to check off the list. “But also our own souls”: (Matt.20:28; 2 Cor.12:15). “Far from using them to minister to himself, he gave himself to minister to them. This willingness manifested itself in the self-denying and excessive toil of which Paul proceeds to speak.
It is sad that some Christian and Christians leaders become both self-centered and autocratic. We all need to cultivate more, the gentleness, love and self-sacrifice”. Here we learn why Paul and his companions were so successful in teaching. They took a genuine interest in those they spoke to and converted. In our manner of preaching and in our interaction with individuals, we should be kind, gentle, courteous, upright, and sincere-not merely or principally for the purpose of pleasing men, but of doing them good. We show strong interest for one who is in danger, when we tell him of a way of escape, or for one who is sick, when we tell him of a medicine that will restore him; but we manifest a much higher love when we tell a lost and ruined sinner of the way in which he may be saved. There is no method in which we can show so strong an interest in our fellow-men, and so much true benevolence for them, as to go to them and tell them of the way by which they may be rescued from everlasting ruin. If we are going to be successful at reaching people with the gospel, then we must love the people that we preach to, more than loving to preach to people. Evangelism starts with unselfish service and placing the needs of others ahead of our own.
Have a great and God filled day!