“You know very well that we did not come to you with flattering talk, nor did we use words to cover up greed – God is our witness!”
1 Thess 2:5 GNB
For those who are called to become messengers of God there are many temptations and pitfalls. One is to peddle your own views and to “sell yourself” as a great person, a clever person, and a learned person. You can do the latter by quoting great scholars – parading your knowledge. Another is to be a funny person thus seeking cheap popularity. Another temptation is to appeal to the opposite sex and to develop illicit relationships “for the fun of it”. Yet another is to use your prominence to solicit financial gain. One professor counselled his theological students, “Never ever talk about money, either your own or the church’s”. But some do.
Paul, Timothy and Silas had rivals for the affections of the people in Thessalonica. These were the travelling teachers who spent their lives hiking from one place to another, giving a few popular talks, and then moving on. Their teachings were superficial and shallow, but their “salary” depended on their popularity – and that was their main aim in “entertaining” their audiences. Paul and his companions trusted God that the truth of their message and the effect for good that the gospel had on their hearers would lead to them receiving a responsible living.
Servants of the word and preachers of the gospel must always ensure that the financial relationship they have with their congregants is kept in the background. Lay leaders in congregations have a duty to see that their spiritual leader is adequately recompensed so that everything gives glory to God.
Lord, help us all to ensure that caring and responsible finances are a feature of our churches.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray today Lord, for people who suffer from eating disorders. Help them to get professional advice and support as they seek to lead a normal healthy life. Make them determined to sort themselves out and to work towards better health. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name. AMEN