2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Paul didn’t preach for his own gain. He wasn’t trying to win friends. Actually, he made many enemies because of his preaching. The Jews weren’t happy that he preached Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. The Greeks weren’t happy because he was preaching a way of life that said that their way of life was immoral. The pagans weren’t too thrilled either for the same reason.
Paul preached to bring the Good News of salvation to all that would listen. He wasn’t worried about the consequences to himself, even though he had suffered beatings and torture as well as imprisonment because of his preaching.
He made many converts in Thessalonica as well as in Philippi as well as other countries, such as Greece, but he wanted them to know that they were not alone in their new faith. He wanted them to know that what they had been taught was true, that they could depend on it; that it came from God. God was the only one Paul was trying to please.
What about us? Who do we try to please? Do we try to please others, ourselves or God?
In the United States, this is an important election year as we will choose a new President. For two years now, we have been listening to a multitude of candidates who have been vying for this position by trying to please the voters. Not only do we need to figure out what is real in what they are saying, we have to decide whether we are deciding on the bases of what will be best for the whole, or what will please us.
Paul, just like Jesus, preached the way to truth and love. Not all the people were pleased because it meant changes that weren’t always easy. Who do we want to please – God or ourselves?
Lord, you have given us so much. You have shown us the way to you which is a way of truth and love. It is important that we choose pleases you above all else. Amen.