Tuesday, 4 July 2017
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 1 Thessalonians 2:10
Just as in verse 2:1 where he said “For you yourselves know,” Paul again reminds those in Thessalonica that they were “witnesses” of the conduct he, Silvanus, and Timothy displayed among them. But further, he says, “and God also.” It is a reminder that they conducted themselves in the manner they did for the sake of the Thessalonians, but they did it with a conscience towards God, knowing that He is always aware of all actions, and even the motives behind those actions. This then is a reaffirmation of the statement in verse 5, “God is witness.”
With the eyes of all of the new believers on them, and with God’s ever-watchful gaze as well, Paul reminds them of “how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves.” The word “devoutly” gives the sense of that which is sanctioned by the Lord, and thus worthy of reverence. The word “justly” gives the sense of being judicially approved. And finally, the word “blamelessly” gives the sense of being morally pure, and thus above reproach.
Paul asks the Thessalonians to remember the conduct that he and those with him displayed, and which they personally saw, for a particular reason. As they so acted, it was setting the example for those who believed to act as well. This will be explained in the verses to come. The thought actually begins, however, with the words, “among you who believe.” This does not mean that they didn’t act this way among unbelievers, but that those who came to believe were aware of their conduct. It was something they saw and felt was worthy of their attention and further investigation.
Nobody would voluntarily follow someone they had no respect for in regards to their conduct. As the Thessalonians followed them, received the message, and believed, it shows that the conduct of Paul and those with him had a positive effect on them.
Life application: One of the most common criticisms of Christians is that they are hypocrites. People note that they believe one thing, and yet they act in another way. It is true that this occurs, but if hypocrisy is a sin, and Christians first and foremost acknowledge that they are sinners, then there is often a misconception or a misunderstanding about the Christian by those who make such accusations. He has already acknowledged his imperfections, among which may be a seemingly hypocritical attitude at times. Despite this, it is important for believers to do their very best to act in accord with their words. This is the example that Paul sets in his epistles, and it was because of the premier example of Christ Jesus. Let us do our very best to live our lives in accord with His perfect conduct.
Lord God, Christ has come, and He has set the example for us to follow. We are to be devout, just, and blameless in our conduct. But we are also fallen and stumble from time to time. Help us in this. Give us the sense to walk in straight paths of righteousness, and to keep our eyes on Jesus. In this, we will certainly act in accord with Your will for us. Amen.