“Our appeal to you is not based on error or impure motives, nor do we try to trick anyone”.

1 Thess 2:3 GNB

With all the trouble that arises from the modern social media it is a wonder that anyone believes a word that is said by such personal communication. It is so easy to spread rumors, gossip and fake news. And always there are gullible people who will “swallow” anything.

In the Greek world in New Testament times there was another kind of trickery. One of the phenomena of the day was the presence of travelling teachers. Usually blessed with a gift of oratory, they went around from one town or city to another giving out some snippet of philosophical teaching. They spoke with guile and entertained the crowd wherever they could gather an audience who would listen. The better ones probably made a good living – the hat was passed round at the end of the “lecture”. Many of these teachers spoke empty and meaningless “wisdom”. They were a kind of entertainment, probably passing on a joke or two here and there. Gullible people took it all in. Once Christianity was established some of these travelling teachers would put themselves up as “Christian teachers” without knowing anything about Jesus, Christian doctrine, or the Christian way of life. They were self-appointed preachers. And many were charlatans.

Paul was referring to such people when he referred here to “error or impure motives” or trying “to trick anyone”. By contrast the apostles came to give people hope and faith, to enable them to re orientate their lives around truth, love and purity. That their gospel was truth is proved by the enduring impact their message has made over two thousand years.


Lord, keep your church free from self-glorying charlatans.


I pray today Lord, for all workers who feel that their efforts are not appreciated by their bosses. Help them to know that you ordain that people shall work, and that it is a divine calling. Assure them that you treasure all work done for your glory. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN