"But we were gentle among you..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:7
A CHOSEN APPROACH
The apostle Paul chose his approach to ministry most carefully. That which is false is, of course, rejected outright. Sometimes we think that the apostle Paul was so full of energy that he does not know how to be gentle. The following text gives us a special and important insight as to the kind of man Paul really was.
“But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother
cherishes her own children.
So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart
to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives,
because you had become dear to us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
1. “Gentle among you”
a) This was the chosen approach.
b) It must also be said to be a good and natural approach.
2. Imagery chosen
a) As a nursing mother.
b) She would certainly cherish her children.
3. “So affectionately longing for you”
a) “Affectionately longing” is an appropriate phrase.
b) It follows from the imagery of a nursing mother.
c) The phrase describes the feeling of “longing” (as a nursing mother yearns for her children).
4. “We were well pleased to impart to you”
a) This same word was used when God expressed His satisfaction with Jesus at His baptism (Mark 1:11).
b) Paul was wonderfully well-disposed toward the Thessalonians.
5. “Not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives”
a) Paul imparted to them the gospel of God.
b) He would have willingly imparted his life for the sake of ministry to the Thessalonians.
6. “Because you had become dear to us”
a) Paul had grown to love the Thessalonians.
b) The word “dear” is actually the word rendered “beloved”.
c) There is no question that love motivated the apostle Paul and his team.
Love enabled them to feel a great sense of affection towards the Thessalonians.